Pacific Scoop

Green MP raises Papua’s Morning Star flag in parliamentary protest

Catherine Delahunty Papua flag

Green MP Catherine Delahunty displays the banned West Papuan flag in New Zealand’s Parliament today. Image: PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By the Pacific Media Centre news desk

Green MP Catherine Delahunty unfurled the West Papuan independence flag – the Morning Star banner banned by Indonesian authorities – in a dramatic gesture in New Zealand’s Parliament today.

She hoisted the flag in a bid to draw attention to the New Zealand government’s failure to condemn alleged human rights atrocities in West Papua.

The banned flag was also flown on the grounds of Parliament this afternoon by the Green Party.

The flag is raised every year on December 1 in West Papua, despite the risk of arrest by Indonesian authorities for doing so.

Delahunty said New Zealand needed to keep raising human rights issues with Indonesia to have a peaceful and stable region.

She asked in Parliament why the New Zealand government was considering a community policing programme in Papua to help the Indonesian authorities that were arresting and jailing Papuans for up to 15 years for raising the pro-independence flag.

Police Minister Judith Collins replied: “A scoping design is currently being undertaken or about to be completed. On that basis I would have thought that any interaction of the New Zealand police – who I believe are the finest police anywhere in the world – would be of an advantage, and I would have thought that the member would have supported it.”

However, Delahunty said any collusion with Indonesia’s security forces was unhelpful for Papuans.

After her questions to the government on Papua had concluded, she made a move to observe the Papuan independence claim in Parliament but was blocked.

“Mr Speaker I seek leave to table the Morning Star flag of West Papua.”

Speaker Lockwood Smith: “Leave is sought to table that flag, is there any objection? There is no objection.”

Delahunty raised the flag.


  1. Johnny, 30. November 2012, 12:52

    Lockwood Smith clearly said at the end “there is objection”.

    He didn’t say “there is no objection”.

    This seems to be a mistake made by Scoop/PMC in the process of cutting and pasting Radio New Zealand International’s earlier story which made up the rump of this article:

  2. Andrew Johnson, 1. December 2012, 11:58

    I disagree with Ms Delahunty, I believe every Pacific nation at the United Nations should ask if West Papua is a UN trust territory or not.

    In 1962 the Netherlands signed a trusteeship agreement which the General Assembly under article 85 of the UN Charter approved with General Assembly resolution 1752 (XVII). I believe neither in 1963 nor 1969 did or could the General Assembly revoke the legal status of West New Guinea (West Papua) as a UN Trust territory. The UN Charter is designed so once the UN accepts responsibility for the human rights of a colony, it will remain responsible until that colony becomes a UN member as stated in article 78 of the UN Charter.

    Yes the UN was allowed to let Indonesia replace the UN troops and occupy West Papua but the UN remains responsible and under the Charter is meant to be exercising articles 87 and 88 every year.

  3. iiNEMESISii, 11. February 2013, 14:05

    The UN did not give indonesia the right to take owner ship of West Papua they were to administer the affairs of the country until a UN resolution for self determination could be sort – so the Indonesion Military took 1024 tribe members and forced at gun point to under UN observers to annex self ruling and become a state of indonesia which was then seconded by the USA and writen into law by the UN !! otherwise they would be killed and there tibes burned to the ground — 1969 this happened – and indonesia invaded and now has the largest gold and copper mines in the world making over a million dollars aday – its a disgrace and shame on Australia and New Zealand for just letting it happen for over well over 40 years !!!!