|Green Party MP Teanau Tuiono ... “As a Pacific nation we do have a responsibility to support West Papuans.” IMAGE: Tagata Pasifika screenshot APR|
By MATTHEW SCOTT of Newsroom
Time is running out for a group of West Papuan students in New Zealand whose scholarships were cut — out of the blue — by the Indonesian government
The sudden removal of government funding for the Papuan students has left many of them in financial dire straits on visas that are running out.
Forty two students learned of the termination of their scholarships at the beginning of this year. With deadlines approaching they have appealed to both the Indonesian government and MPs in New Zealand to see if they can fix their dashed hopes of a completed education.
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Green Party MPs Ricardo Menendez March, Golriz Ghahraman and Teanau Tuiono penned a letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta requesting government to support for the students before they are deported.
They are calling for a scholarship fund to support the impacted students, a residency pathway for West Papuan students whose welfare has been affected, and an assurance that the students will have access to safe housing in affordable accommodation.