Foreign Minister Murray McCully needs to rethink the panel approving funds to NGO aid projects, Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke said today.
Mr McCully has appointed sitting National MP John Hayes to a three-person panel to decide grants from NZAid’s Sustainable Development Fund.
“Putting National MP John Hayes on the panel is not appropriate given his parliamentary role is to scrutinise NZAid,” said Mr Locke.
“Mr Hayes is chair of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, which overlooks the performance of NZAid.
“How can Mr Hayes, as committee chair, impartially assess New Zealand’s aid projects, when he has previously been directly involved in approving many of them?
Mr Locke who sits on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee was also concerned that all three panel members, while having some credentials in the aid sector, also have outside associations with Mr McCully.
“Mr Hayes is of course a National MP,” said Mr Locke.
“Mr Kiely is a lawyer that works for the National Party and Ms Walsh is a manager for Rugby World Cup 2011, who reports to Mr McCully who is the Rugby World Cup Minister.
“If the previous administration had appointed a panel with similar ties to Labour then Mr McCully would have rightly written about it in his
“It’s time Mr McCully realised that the important work of delivering aid to those who need it shouldn’t be influenced by party politics.”