|New Zealand Agency for International Development|
|Logo of NZAID|
|Jurisdiction||New Zealand’s official development assistance (ODA)|
|Minister responsible||Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs|
|Agency executive||Dr Peter Adams, Executive Director|
|Parent agency||New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade|
The New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID) is the New Zealand Government’s international aid and development agency. NZAID is a semi-autonomous body within the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). Its Māori name is Nga Hoe Tuputupu-mai-tawhiti – the paddles that bring growth from afar. Its Executive Director is Dr Peter Adams, and is responsible directly to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Murray McCully.
NZAID was established in 2002 by the Fifth Labour Government with the launching of a new overseas aid policy, "Towards a Safe and Just World Free of Poverty". The establishment of NZAID as a semi-autonomous body marked a significant shift in the management of New Zealand official development assistance (ODA). Prior to 2002, ODA had been managed by MFAT using largely non-specialist staff, policies and procedures.
A Ministerial Review in 2001 found that New Zealand's management of ODA lacked a clear mission: "Management and staff are pursuing poorly defined development assistance, foreign policy and trade objectives. There is a serious confusion of purpose. At the implementing end, desk officers are uncertain and concerned about the core mission of their work." The 2001 Review found that NZ ODA lacked focus; poverty analyses on which to base decisions; systematic analysis of past performance; and systematic use of good practice in aid design and delivery. The rotational staffing system (whereby career MFAT staff were rotated through the aid management division, rather than recruited specifically for skills and experience in ODA issues) had led to the relevant area of MFAT being regarded as "both a training ground for diplomats and a dumping ground for non-performers". Basic issues of staff and document management were found wanting. The establishment of NZAID was a response to these and other problems.
The Cabinet Minute (01) 28/8 which mandated the creation of NZAID "set the following major directions for New Zealand’s ODA:
NZAID consists of five organisational groups:
NZAID makes extensive use of consultation processes, teams and committees that work across these five Groups. The top decision-making body is the Aid Management Committee. Other key groups include an Evaluation and Research Committee.
The New Zealand government policies on aid (on issues such as human rights, gender, education, etc) are available on the NZAID website, as are NZAID's country and regional programme strategies. NZAID's website says that from 2008, evaluations and reviews will be published in summary form.
In 2008, the Office of the Controller and Auditor-General and Audit New Zealand released critical reports on NZAID procedures and systems, leading to negative comments in New Zealand Parliament and critical media coverage. NZAID has responded with a programme to "strengthen internal systems and processes".
The New Zealand National Party have claimed that overseas aid needs "fresh thinking" and that "Over many years and various Governments, New Zealand aid has encouraged the growth of political structures and bureaucracy that are not sustainable." and that "there is no evidence that the major problems identified in the 2005 report by Professor Marilyn Waring have been rectified."
Trevor Loudon, a member of the free market liberal ACT Party, has criticised NZAID as an organisation, and individuals within it, for having a "socialist bent" and funding organisations that are "more political than aid oriented". However, there has been noticeably less criticism of this sort in New Zealand than in Australia.