9 Feb 2010

PIANGO retains regional backing amid funding woes

3:31 pm on 9 February 2010

The body representing non-government organisations in the Pacific says it has won renewed backing from its 22 member nations.

The Pacific Islands Association of NGOs, PIANGO, met in Suva last week, and is charting a new direction with a leaner, better run organisation.

This comes after nine months of struggle, during which it lost its main backer, the New Zealand Government aid agency, NZAID, over claims the then management had used the funding fraudulently.

Two audits, one ordered by NZAID, have since shown no fraud but clear financial mismanagement.

The chair of PIANGO, Drew Havea, says the size of the organisation has now been pared back.

"We are not building up a big secretariat as it was in Suva in the beginning. We are tightening up our management systems. We have asked our members that we need to start looking at financing, self financing of their participation."

The PIANGO chair, Drew Havea, who says they hope to re-establish a dialogue with NZAID, but doubt they will get funding from the agency.