13 Feb 2012

Papua leader cautions NZ on investing in Merauke project

5:24 am on 13 February 2012

The General-Secretary of the Papua Customary Council has called on New Zealand to ensure it doesn't take up investment opportunities created by massive land exploitation in Indonesia's eastern region.

While in New Zealand last week, Leonard Imbiri spoke of the dangers of this country furthering its trade links with Indonesia while ignoring human rights abuses in Papua.

The planned Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate near the Papua New Guinea border is highly strategic in terms of the nation's food security and energy programmes.

Mr Imbiri says New Zealand should think twice before investing in it.

"I don't think that there is good preparation to involve the Papuan indigenous people in that process. And it means that they will be displaced in their own land. I didn't see that there will be any possibilities or benefits from this project to the West Papuan indigenous people."

Leonard Imbiri