On the surface a revelation by the Taxpayers’ Unionthat New Zealand has given donations to the Clinton Foundation and intends to donate more sound quite questionable, but it may not be as bad as first impressions may give.
First I’ll deal with the last paragraph:
Given New Zealand’s faux pas in co-sponsoring the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel on Christmas Eve, and the heavy criticism of New Zealand which has resulted, the continued support of the Clinton Foundation risks even more damage to New Zealand’s ability to wield any influence in the US.
For an organisation that purports to be political independent that’s a curious slant on this, taking a swipe at the UN vote which has pretty much nothing to do with the donations.
The Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that the Government has budgeted to give another $5.5 million dollars of taxpayers’ money to the controversial Clinton Foundation, despite Mrs Clinton’s failed US Presidential bid and controversy over improper ties between the Clinton Foundation, the State Department and donations from foreign governments to the foundation while Ms Clinton was US Secretary of State.
Figures obtained by the Taxpayers’ Union under the Official Information Act show that to date Kiwi taxpayers have forked out $7.7 million to the Clinton Foundation’s “Health Access Initiative” with $2.5 million and $3 million earmarked for 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Given the lessons of the Saudi Sheep saga, we are staggered that MFAT appear to still think handing out money for diplomatic purposes is sensible. Even worse, this money comes from the NZ Aid budget which should be going to programes which are the most effective at helping the world’s poor – not sidetracked into political objectives.
Again, this has little if anything to do with the Saudi sheep ‘saga’.
No proof is provided that the Clinton Foundation donations have “political objectives”.
It is possible that officials have reason to believe that the Clinton Foundation’s work does provide good value for money, although given the controversy in the US that seems unlikely. The refusal to front up and explain leaves a stench of buying political access.
More loaded comments.
The Taxpayers’ Union provide a copy of a letter explaining what the donations are for.
That doesn’t sound bad at all.
Is the Taxpayers’ Union trying to play politics with straight forward aid?
Their media release is loaded with a number of political issues that may have little or no relationship to this sort of aid donations.