18 Feb 2008

New Zealand NGO body tells critics of NZAID not to undermine its effectiveness

8:07 pm on 18 February 2008

The New Zealand Council for International Development says critics of the government aid and development agency, NZAID, need to take into account the effectiveness of its work.

MPs on a parliamentary select committee are urging the Government to temporarily suspend funding increases for NZAID saying its systems are too weak to cope.

A critical audit report last year pointed to poorly trained staff and inadequate financial management systems in the agency.

But David Culverhouse, the executive director of CID, says NZAID should be commended for getting on with the job of poverty alleviation.

He says while it is quite proper for the Auditor-General to focus on improving systems, others should not be questioning the effectiveness of the agency.

"There's never been any suggestion until this that the work of NZAID isn't extremely effective and they are doing an excellent job and there is a danger of focussing on systems that you could actually do something to undermine the work they are doing."