Skip to main content

Distributed for University of Cincinnati Press

See No Evil

New Zealand’s Betrayal of the People of West Papua

See No Evil issues a challenge to New Zealanders. The book begins by relating the little-known history of West Papua, but its focus is on the impact of New Zealand’s foreign policy on the indigenous Melanesian inhabitants. In the 1950s New Zealand supported self-determination for the former Dutch colony, but in 1962 opted to back Indonesia as it took over the territory. Delving deep into historical government archives, many of them obtained under the Official Information Act, this meticulously researched book uncovers the untold story of New Zealand’s unprincipled and often hypocritical diplomacy. The consequences of repressive Indonesian rule have been tragic for the West Papuan people, who are experiencing ‘slow genocide’. West Papua remains largely closed to foreign journalists, but its story is now beginning to be heard. A growing number of Pacific Island nations are calling for change, but so far New Zealand has opted for caution and collusion to preserve a ‘business as usual’ relationship with Indonesia.
See No Evil is a shocking account by one of New Zealand’s most respected authors on peace and Pacific issues, issuing a powerful call for a just and permanent solution – self-determination – for the people of West Papua.  

224 pages | 95 illustrations | 6 x 9 | © 2018

History: General History

Political Science: Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, and International Relations

University of Cincinnati Press image

View all books from University of Cincinnati Press


"Drawing on the historical record, declassified documents, first-hand observations of the political dynamics in West Papua and decades of international solidarity work, Maire Leadbeater takes the reader on a virtual roller-coaster ride in this compelling, insightful and measured manuscript."


Jason Macleod, Professor of Civil Resistance at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 From the Pleistocene period to the intrusion of the outside world
Ch. 2 The Indonesian War of Independence and the West New Guinea dispute
Ch. 3 The promise of decolonization
Ch. 4 Future in the balance: New Zealand takes a stand
Ch. 5 The rise of the Morning Star: Hope gives way to betrayal
Ch. 6 The New York Agreement paves the way for an Indonesian takeover
Ch. 7 West Irian out of the headlines: Konfrontasi a new challenge for New Zealand
Ch. 8 Indonesia’s killing fields: 1965
Ch. 9 Indonesia has the upper hand: 1966-68
Ch. 10 The Act of Free Choice: Neither free nor a choice
Ch. 11 Repression and armed resistance after the Act of Free Choice
Ch. 12 The 1980s: A dark and desperate decade
Ch. 13 Suharto goes but thwarted hope for West Papua
Ch. 14 Change is in the air
Ch. 15 New Zealand chooses the wrong partners, but West Papuans find Pacific allies

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press