Political map of Australia, New Zealand & the Southwest Pacific 27 September 1906 (Consolidation of the Dutch East Indies): Despite its small size, the Netherlands emerged from the 19th century in charge of the rich and populous Dutch East Indies - modern Indonesia. Consolidating control over the vast archipelago was another matter and it was only in the early 20th century that many of the princely states acknowledged Dutch rule, with the establishment of authority over the countless tribes of remote western New Guinea (Dutch New Guinea) taking even longer.