Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


McCully asked to explain NZAID plans

Phil Twyford
Associate Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

3 March 2009 Media Statement

McCully asked to explain his plans to restructure New Zealand’s aid programme

Labour’s Associate Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Phil Twyford has called on Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully to seek public comment on his plans to re-organise New Zealand’s $450 million per year aid programme.

“He has initiated two internal reviews, and made limited public comment, on New Zealand’s official development assistance programme. Indications are that he wants to disestablish the governmental aid agency, NZAID, and fold its operations back into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade,” Phil Twyford said.

“Mr McCully has said loosely that he wants to drop NZAID’s focus on poverty elimination and replace it with a focus on economic development. He has also suggested narrowing the focus of New Zealand’s assistance, which could mean closing down parts of the aid programme.

“Such comments suggest a significant policy shift, yet so far he has offered no justification for his plans and has not reached out to involve stakeholders.”

Phil Twyford said NZAID was set up in 2001 as a semi-autonomous body within MFAT after independent development experts who had reviewed the existing aid programme found problems with it, including poor policy and lack of clear goals. “They recommended creating a new agency with a central goal of eliminating poverty. There was substantial public consultation before the agency was set up.

“Since then NZAID has won favourable reviews from the OECD’s peer review group for aid donors, and from a ministerial review by former National MP Marilyn Waring. Both praised the progress made by the new agency in improving the quality of aid delivery, and endorsed its focus on poverty elimination.

“It is now incumbent on Mr McCully to explain what problem he is trying to solve within New Zealand Aid and the strategies it is pursuing,” Phil Twyford said.

“Many New Zealanders care deeply about helping make the world a better place. Our aid programme is making a difference to some of the poorest and most vulnerable people. For example, in the Solomon Islands NZAID is helping rebuild the primary education system.

“Our aid programme touches the lives of millions of people. It is also a serious investment of taxpayers’ money. The Minister should not tamper with it lightly and in secret,” Phil Twyford said.

“There is growing concern that Mr McCully has already made up his mind up on the structural changes he wants to make to NZAID and on doing away with its focus on poverty elimination. If the Minister wants change, he should be transparent about it, seek advice from development experts, consult the public, and allow sufficient time for proper deliberation.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

Well, what Budget 2017 delivered instead in Education and in Health were allocations barely sufficient to maintain the current levels of service delivery More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search


Carer Settlement: Threat Of Staff Exodus In Mental Health

As a result of the recent pay rise awarded to their aged care and disability sector colleagues, many staff in non-government mental health and addiction organisations are considering leaving to join these workforces. More>>


Climate Policy: New Zealand Set To Blow Its Carbon Budget By 27%

The Government’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory shows New Zealand is set to release 647.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions between 2013 and 2020 – 137 million tonnes more than we are allowed under the Kyoto Protocol. More>>



Christchurch Considers Cathedral, Stadium: Cathedral Working Group Report Released

“About half of Christchurch wants to see the cathedral reinstated, the other half wants something new and more modern, but really, everyone just needs a decision." More>>


Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>


NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>


Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>



Opening The Election Supporters




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election