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First Steps Towards A New Aid Agency

"We expect to have a chief executive to head the new aid agency early next year," says Minister in charge of aid, Matt Robson.

Yesterday representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Services Commission, Treasury and the Prime Minister's Department met to discuss the implementation plan for the new agency.

A draft plan will be prepared by MFAT, in consultation with these other departments.

MFAT will then report to the Ministers.

"I will have a look at the draft plan, and with my colleague, Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff, will decide if it is ready for sign off.

"Once we have a final plan, we can set up a panel to interview applicants for the job of CEO. We will advertise the position for top executive both in New Zealand and overseas.

"The panel will make its recommendation and we hope to have an appointment early in the new year," says Matt Robson.

"There will be a careful transition to the new agency to avoid disruption of present aid programmes, which will run to completion.

"For example students in the middle of training and aid projects on the way to completion will continue uninterrupted.

"Aid will have its own vote in next year's budget, for the financial year 2002/3, and new budgetary arrangements will be made in preparation.

"This is the a whole new chapter in the delivery of New Zealand aid. I have every confidence that staff in the new agency will achieve excellence in the delivery of aid," says Matt Robson.

Ends

www.robsononline.co.nz

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