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


Minister moves to silence NZAID

19 March 2009   Media Statement
Minister moves to silence NZAID
National has ordered its overseas aid agency NZAID not to fund or co-host a Wellington conference on international development as it moves to shift the aid programme’s focus from poverty elimination to private sector economic growth.

Labour’s associate foreign affairs spokesperson Phil Twyford said the order was just the latest act of a Government determined to turn its back on internationally agreed targets on poverty reduction.

The conference on the UN Millennium Development Goals went ahead this weekend at Victoria University funded by the British High Commission and non-government organisations.  “Several NZAID staff attended the conference but bizarrely none of them spoke. You have to assume either they were silenced by the Minister or operating under self-censorship” said Twyford.

Government participation was limited to backbench MPs John Hayes and Jackie Blue who attended only the opening ceremony. “Mr Hayes outlined the Government’s plan to spend more aid on promoting business in the Pacific but had almost nothing to say about the poverty elimination targets that were the topic of the conference. He said only that if economic growth generated more wealth the targets would be more achievable.”

The Millennium Development Goals are a set of targets which including cutting poverty in half, reducing child deaths and providing universal education. They have been agreed by 192 nations including New Zealand.

Twyford said the Government seemed hell-bent on plans to ditch NZAID’s focus on poverty elimination and to disestablish the organisation, folding the aid budget back into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“I understand NZAID staff have been told that any reports or papers written for Minister Murray McCully should not include the words poverty alleviation, human rights, or gender in case they upset the Minister.  This is Alice in Wonderland stuff. The Minister doesn’t want to hear anything he doesn’t like even if it represents the international consensus on what makes effective aid.”

“Economic growth is important to poverty reduction but on its own it is not enough. Without education kids in Papua New Guinea won’t get jobs. Without healthcare too many children die before they turn five. The Minister is in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Supporting business risks just making elites more wealthy. I don’t think that is what Kiwis want their overseas aid budget spent on.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Not Buying What Todd Muller Is Selling

Chloe Swarbrick is number three in the Greens Party list released this morning. Todd Muller has released his new party line-up today, which will excite everyone who still wants to know what Gerry Brownlee and Judith Collins will be up to in future. Wider point being : Swarbrick is a household name after three years in Parliament, and has been steering our cannabis laws towards a national referendum at this year’s election. Todd Muller has spent twice as long in Parliament as Swarbrick and yet – until last week – no one beyond his immediate family and friends had ever heard of him... More>>


National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>


Lockdown Rules: Timeline For Moving To Level 1 Needed

The BusinessNZ Network is calling for more clarity about the conditions under which businesses can move to Covid level 1. The network is concerned about large numbers of businesses that are at risk of closure if restrictions continue at the current ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>


Covid-19 Response: Law Setting Up Legal Framework For Covid-19 Alert Level 2 Passes

The law establishing a legal framework for the response to Covid-19 has passed its final reading and will become law in time for the move to Alert Level 2 tonight.
This is a bespoke Act designed specifically to stop the spread of COVID-19... More>>


ACT: Parliament Quits MP Cut Pay Debate To Go Home Early

“In an outrageous move, Parliament has today passed voluntary MP pay cuts and avoided any debate over whether to make them compulsory and transparent”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.... More>>


Trans-Tasman Bubble: PMs Jacinda And Morrison Announce Plans

Australia and New Zealand are committed to introducing a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so, Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP have announced... More>>


Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>


The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>


Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>


Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Dodgy Politics Of Easing Level 3

As countries around the world tentatively emerge from lockdown, a lot of political noise is being generated by politically-driven arguments that (a) the safeguards need to be lifted faster and (b) the lockdown itself was an over-reaction likely to leave lasting economic damage in its wake... More>>


Govt: Concern At Introduction Of National Security Legislation For Hong Kong
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong... More>>






InfoPages News Channels