Don’t Corrupt Aid

(a letter to John Key, Bill English and Murray McCully, current NZ MPs)

Dear John, Bill and Murray

I would like to urge you to carefully consider the proposal to absorb NZAID back into MFAT and undermine the effectiveness of New Zealand’s aid programmes by making them foreign policy tools.

I think aid should used for humanitarian purposes to benefit the poor and fight poverty. Economic growth is a worthy aim, but what’s the point if your labour force can’t read or write, and are sick or malnourished? If you want economic growth, please make it pro-poor economic growth and help develop the livelihoods of the poor so they can then participate in their own national economy. History has shown that big money on big infrastructure does not adjust poverty levels. Please don’t repeat the mistake.

The OECD has stated that NZAID is a global frontrunner in the delivery of aid. Even though the agency is only seven years old, it’s one of the best on harmonisation, ownership and alignment. We should be really proud of this rather than reversing away.

I want aid to be effective; helping people and showing them that Kiwis care—we are not driven by self-interest and our own political agenda but by care for our neighbours and respect for human dignity.

It is vital that NZAID keeps its current status and that poverty reduction remain the overriding goal for the New Zealand aid programme. Please put this issue to a select committee and let NZ decide.

Kind Regards,

Will Watterson

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~ by humblemonkey on March 6, 2009.

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