30 May 2009

Risk element raised over aid agency changes

11:35 am on 30 May 2009

Cabinet papers about a decision to put the NZ Aid back under Foreign Affairs Ministry control, show the Treasury believed it would be less risky to instead change the agency's objectives.

Papers obtained by Radio New Zealand under the Official Information Act show the Treasury did not see a strong case for removing NZ Aid's status as a semi-autonomous body.

The Government has changed the focus of aid from poverty elimination to sustainable economic growth and aid's now being aligned with foreign policy goals.

The papers show NZ Aid said closer alignment between aid and foreign policy goals could have been met under Ministerial direction.

While the Treasury warned of possible risks around transparency of aid delivery in changing NZ Aid's status, it noted the risks could be managed.