‘West Papua: The Pacific’s Secret Shame’ Final Seminar Programme

Seminar Programme

Friday 1 August

Student Common Room, Level Two, University of Auckland Faculty of Law,

9 Eden Crescent, Auckland 1010

Chair:  Assoc. Prof. Treasa Dunworth


6.30 pm

Drinks and nibbles

7.15 pm

Mihi / waiata – welcome

7.20 pm

Oceania Interrupted

7.30 pm

Keynote speech byVictor Mambor


Saturday 2 August

Stone Lecture Theatre, Level 3, University of Auckland Faculty of Law,

9 Eden Crescent, Auckland 1010

Chair:  Kevin McBride


9.00 am


9.15 am

Paul Bensemann / Victor Mambor – current situation in West Papua

9.45 am

Maire Leadbeater – New Zealand’s long history of betrayal of West Papua; time for redress

10.15 am

Morning tea

10.45 am

Joe Collins – solidarity from Australia

11.00 am

Prof. David Robie – West Papua and the New Zealand media

11.30 am

Paula Makabory  Melbourne-based West Papuan human rights activist  

12.00 pm

Dr.Elizabeth Stanley – East Timor to West Papua – the long line of repression and impunity

12.30 pm


1.15 pm       

Panel – political party foreign affairs spokespersons on their West Papua policies

2.15 pm

Johnny Blades on video: ‘Melanesia and West Papua’

2.40 pm

Outline of four key campaigns (environmental exploitation; ending all military (and police) links with Indonesia; political prisoners; promoting open access/peaceful dialogue and a more proactive role for our government – Maire Leadbeater

2.50 pm

Afternoon tea

3.10 pm

Campaign and activism session (continued)

4.00 pm

Closing waiata

4.10 pm

Screening of the SBS documentary West Papua’s New Dawn?

4.40 pm

Informal discussion     




Fundraising Event


Papua Merdeka Concert

Papua Merdeka Concert

NZ musicians stand up for freedom in West Papua 

Featuring SJD, Mara TK, Tourettes, The Bads, Steve Abel, Nightchoir, Will Wood, Reb Fountain, Road Warriors and Loud Ghost.

Friday 4 July at 8pm

The Wine Cellar, St Kevin’s Arcade, 183 Karangahape Road,Auckland

$15 on the door.


The people of West Papua are NZ’s Melanesian neighbours; they share the island of New Guinea with the people of independent Papua New Guinea. In 1961 West Papuans were on track to achieving independence from the Dutch but in a cold war trade-off they were forced to accept rule from Indonesia.

Since this time the indigenous people of West Papua have been subjected to gross human rights violations.

International and Indonesian human rights groups have documented the extensive use of torture and killings by the security forces in West Papua. There is ongoing suppression of freedom of expression and now over 70 West Papua political prisoners languishing in jail for nothing more than raising the Papuan Morning Star flag or taking part in peaceful events.

NZ West Papua Solidarity Activist Maire Leadbeater explains says “The West Papuan resistance is now largely a peaceful struggle: a David and Goliath contest in which our solidarity can help to tip the balance. Remember East Timor. The odds were against East Timorese Independence until international action reached a high level.”

Funds raised from the show will go towards the expenses to bring outspoken West Papuan journalist and human rights advocate Victor Mambor to New Zealand Aotearoa. Mambor will be a keynote speaker at the seminar ‘West Papua: the Pacific’s secret shame’ taking place at theUniversity of Auckland, on 1 and 2 August.