NZ donations to Clinton Foundation

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.

Government Set to Give Clinton Foundation Another $5.5M

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.

mfatclinton1

mfatclinton2

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.

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8 Comments

  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  January 11, 2017

    I am really tired of the widespread assumption that everyone is crooked except the people making the claim. It’s a horrible mindset.How about assuming that people AREN’T all dishonest until it’s proved that they are ?

    Reply
  2. PDB

     /  January 11, 2017

    Ironic the tax payer union criticise councils for meddling in political stuff that doesn’t concern them then take an obvious ‘pro-settlement’ stance regarding Israel when discussing the unrelated topic of taxpayer funds going to the Clinton foundation.

    Like Whaleoil the tax payer union is obviously of the opinion that ‘friends’ just agree with anything a friend does regardless of law and what is right.

    Reply
  3. SPC

     /  January 11, 2017

    One presumes that we have an economic interest in the development of fortified food for younger children. Such as some of our expertise and products being provided.

    Reply
  4. duperez

     /  January 11, 2017

    This effort from the Taxpayers’ Union is amateur. The original story in the Herald had some other bizarre comments from their executive director. It’s amusing when people make themselves out to have gravitas and be high powered and come out with stuff which suggests they’re pathetic pretenders.

    Reply
  5. The real question we should be asking is how the results of this aid project are being audited, by whom, and how frequently? What sort of accounting system has been set up to ensure all expenditure is indeed project related, and accounted for?

    Reply
    • I agree, sensible questions.

      I see the Taxpayer’s Union has started a petition now – PETITION: NO MORE TAXPAYER FUNDING OF CLINTON FOUNDATION

      “We call on Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully to veto MFAT’s decision to give another $5.5 million of NZ Aid money to the Clinton Foundation’s ‘Health Access Initiative’.”

      They will know that a petition is futile for changing the MFAT funding decisions, so it is more likely to be an attempt at email harvesting.

      Reply
  6. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  January 13, 2017

    It is clear that MFAT was aware of the dodgy relationship between CHAI and the Ranbaxy drug company.
    https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/taxpayers-will-continue-funding-clinton-foundation%E2%80%99s-flagship-jw-p-194939

    Let’s hope the schemes NZ is helping to fund through CHAI are well monitored and transparent.

    Reply

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