Green And Labour Politicians Launch East Timor Book
The author of Negligent Neighbour Maire Leadbetter
Last evening in the Beehive foyer politicians that do not always see eye to eye came together to help launch a book on
the plight of East Timor following Indonesian annexation in 1975 and the attitudes of Western powers to that annexation
(pretty much hands off).
Surprisingly given his desire to keep an eye on what the Green Party and Government would be getting up to following
Taito Philip Field's expulsion from Labour United Future Leader Peter Dunne was nowhere to be seen. This absence would
have allowed all manner of off the cuff chatting between peace activist Green MP Keith Locke and New Zealand's Defence
Minister Phil Goff.
Maire Leadbetter's brother and Green MP Keith Locke spoke at the book's launch
Mr Locke kicked proceedings off for the author of the book Maire Leadbetter, who also happens to be Mr Locke's sister.
Next came current Defence Minister Phil Goff whose speech was interrupted briefly by a young man with a neither funny
nor stylish approach to heckling. Thankfully the young rapscallion shut up for most of Mr Goff's speech which traversed
more recent events in East Timor's history – events which Mr Goff and the book's author Maire Leadbetter have rather
diverging views on.
Current Defence Minister Phil Goff was a champion of East Timorese independence and was happy to speak at the launch of
When Ms Leadbetter took the stage she pilloried the attitudes of the New Zealand and Australian foreign affairs
officials to Timor during the 1970s and 80s– soaking up this tongue-lashing was former Foreign affairs official and
current National MP John Hayes.
It was however pointed out that following the killing of a young New Zealander in 1992 in Timor by Indonesian forces
there was widespread sympathy from politicians of all political persuasions in New Zealand for Timorese independence.
Ms Leadbetter's book - titled Negligent Neighbour - is published by Craig Potton whose most recent success has been
Nicky Hager's book about the National Party under Don Brash 'The Hollow Men'. Scoop understands that while not likely to
be as popular as Mr Hager's tome 'Negligent Neighbour' is likely to sell well.