13 Jul 2013

Muslim Brotherhood came to NZ to learn about democracy

12:57 pm on 13 July 2013

Delegates from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt visited New Zealand to learn about democracy a month before the party was overthrown.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed that representatives from the Muslim Brotherhood visited public and private organisations for a week in May as part of The Nahda Project (Renaissance Project).

The Brotherhood and president Mohamed Morsi were removed from power by the military on 3 July, a few days after the anniversary of Mr Morsi's election a year before.

A ministry spokesperson said New Zealand has a reputation for good governance, transparency and accountability and the Brotherhood wanted to learn from that.

The spokesperson said the group visited a range of government agencies, such as the State Services Commission and the Ombudsman's Office.

Chief ombudsman Beverley Wakem said the officials were trying to soak up as much information as they could during their visit.

Dame Beverley said New Zealand has also had similar visits recently by delegations from Thailand, Myanmar and China.