Why is New Zealand and the world turning its back on human rights abuses in West Papua?

Over the years, many graphic and violent images of torture and beatings have emerged from the Indonesia-controlled Melanesian island of West Papua.

News agencies and social media groups across the world have reported the alleged human rights abuses of the island’s native population by Indonesian soldiers.

Yet, the international community continues to ignore the plight of the West Papuan people.

Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver has covered the story of the West Papuan fight for independence from Indonesia for many years.

In this piece, she explores the reasons why Indonesia clings tightly to power of the island and shuts the rest of the world out, denying access to the island and its people.

She also looks at the close relationship New Zealand has with Indonesia, one our country’s strongest allies and trade partners.

Reporter: Barbara Dreaver

Produced by: Natalia Sutherland

Edited by: Luis G. Portillo

Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver looks into the abuse of West Papuans by Indonesia. Source: 1 NEWS

Report recommends EQC hires more staff in bid to settle claims

A range of reform recommendations to speed up EQC claims has been received by the government, in an attempt to reduce roadblocks to claim settlements.

In the report prepared by acting chief executive of New Zealand Customs Christine Stevenson, recommendations include:

The wide-ranging changes come more than seven years after the Canterbury quakes. Source: 1 NEWS

· Hiring more staff to reduce the caseloads for case managers so claimants can get more personal attention.

· Establishing a Claimant Reference Group, comprised of claimants and community representative advocates who are paid for their time and expertise to advise EQC on how to improve the treatment of their customers.

· Making any claimants’ EQC file available to them on request and introducing a standard for better communication with claimants.

· Having a team of experienced EQC staff pull out all of the physical claims files relating to the remaining claims, and have the team sort, review, confirm and capture the key data to ensure it is correct.

· Increasing Government monitoring to improve accountability.

EQC Minister Megan Woods said in a statement the report showed "sizeable issues with staffing levels, data quality, record keeping and organisational culture and structure that are holding back resolution of claims". 

She said in addition to the recommendations, there were also broader recommendations which include possibly allowing EQC flexibility to make cash settlements above the cap. 

The recommendations were in the categories of EQC responsibility, ones that would require work by Treasury and MBIE and those that need a whole system approach, Ms Woods said. 

Ms Woods had a meeting with BP executives at Parliament today and accused them of "cynical behaviour".
Source: 1 NEWS


Trump staffer who told colleagues to ignore gravely ill Senator John McCain's criticism because 'he's dying anyway' gets the boot

A West Wing aide who was dismissive of gravely ill Senator John McCain during a closed-door meeting last month has left the White House.

White House spokesman Raj Shah today said, "Kelly Sadler is no longer employed within the Executive Office of the President."

Sadler told colleagues last month they should disregard McCain's opinion on President Donald Trump's CIA nominee because "he's dying anyway," a remark that led to a torrent of criticism.

The Trump administration declined to publicly apologise and Trump demanded a crackdown on whoever leaked the story to the media.

The 81-year-old McCain was diagnosed in July with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Sadler apologised to the McCain family privately, but McCain's daughter asked for a public apology.

Sadler's departure was first reported by CNN.

Doctors discovered and removed a tumour from the 80-year-old during surgery last week.
Source: 1 NEWS