By Drs. J.E Hosio, M.Si. M..Th
Portuguese first came to Papua in 1551. They arrived in Manokwari and built Kenari Tinggi fortress. Their interest on Papua was the result of increased world demand on spices.
In 1663, the Dutch declared Papua as property of the King and the Dutch Empire. Their strategy to colonise Papua was to build trade relations through VOC.
The Dutch East Indies policy as recorded on State Paper No.62 dated 9 February 1989 stated Residen Ternate area is part of Afdeling Noord Nieuw Guinea based in Manokwari. On 1 May 1963, governmental system was adjusted based on President of RI Decree No.22 Year 1963 that Karesidenan Manokari was changed to Kabupaten Administratif (Administrative Regency). To maximise the effectiveness of state organisation, three Governor’s Assistance Area was established, each to be called Pembantu Gubernur Wilayah I based in Jayapura, Pembantu Gubernur Wilayah II based in Manokwari and Pembantu Gubernur Wilayah III based in Merauke.
History of governance at the ‘Bird Head’ region showed a government administration unity of West Irian Jaya province with its capital Manokwari. This was legalised with UU No.45 Year 1999 on West Irian Jaya Expansion according to Paragraph 4 Line 2: West Irian Jaya consisted of eight regencies and one city, Sorong. The regencies were Sorong, Manokwari, Fak-Fak and five new expansions, South Sorong, Raja Ampat, Teluk Wondama, Teluk Bintuni and Kaimana.
For detail, please read the book.
Source : Papua Barat dalam Realitas Politik NKRI by Drs. Jusach Eddy Hosio, M.Si. (free translation)