Benny Wenda Thank You for West Papua Solidarity “desk” opening in Onehunga, New Zealand.

On behalf of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua I would like to congratulate, and thank First Union and West Papua Action Auckland for opening the West Papua solidarity “desk” in Onehunga, Aotearoa New Zealand this week. You have the full support of the ULMWP and the people of West Papua.

This historical and kind gesture is an empowering gift from the people of Aotearoa to West Papua. We accept your offering with deep gratitude, and give our everlasting friendship in return. We thank you for seeing West Papua’s battle for freedom and extending a hand to us during our time of need. The journey is sometimes dark and weary, but a ray of hope from our Pacific family can light the way on this long road. June 11th 2018 is now a great day to remember on this path to freedom. We will write it down in history as a day of friendship between neighbours.

Last year during my first visit to New Zealand Parliament (Pāremata Aotearoa) in Wellington I received such warm hospitality from the people and great leaders who stepped up to embrace my people’s mission. It is very powerful to see the action that has been happening in Aotearoa for a long time. We hope your great work will inspire others to learn about West Papua. We also hope this new space will be a place for people to be inspired by one another. May your action, on behalf of our people, be an example of how to support all indigenous people around the world.

I want to especially thank all members of the FIRST Union organisation for hosting the space, and West Papua Action Auckland for taking on the responsibility of managing the ‘West Papua Desk’ program. Many thanks also to our great friends Catherine Delahunty, Marama Davidson MP, Golriz Ghahraman MP, Oceania Interrupted, Run it straight, Marie Leadbeater, and supporting MPs. To the young freedom fighters, our Pacific neighbours, our Aotearoa family – our whanau, I thank you for your long standing unity with indigenous Melanesians. We appreciate you all for your courageous and creative actions. Your individual and collective strength gives the people of West Papua strength. Thank you for standing with us in our fight for self-determination and independence.

I look forward to seeing you all in the near future and especially visiting Onehunga.

In solidarity,

Benny Wenda,

Chairperson, United Liberation Movement for West Papua

Photo information; Mana leader Hone Harwara, Labour MP Maryan Street join Benny Wenda, Jennifer Robinson, and Catherine Delahunty on parliaments steps during Wenda’s first visit to New Zealand last year.