Thursday, September 22, 2016

Against restoring aid to Nauru

In 2015, New Zealand suspended all aid to Nauru after the country sacked its chief justice and suspended opposition MPs from Parliament. Now, Murray McCully is apparently thinking of restoring it:

New Zealand is considering whether to restore its aid spending to Nauru.


The New Zealand Prime Minister John Key met with Nauru President Baron Waqa during the recent Pacific Islands Forum summit in Pohnpei.

Mr Waqa said Mr Key indicated New Zealand would look to restore some of the $US878,000 in aid that had been suspended.

An official with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs said they were exploring whether the unspent justice funding could be redirected to other projects in Nauru.

To which the obvious question is "why?" Nothing has changed - Nauru's judiciary is still not independent, and opponents of the government still face persecution for their views. Most recently, the Nauruan government is attempting to murder an opposition MP by arbitrarily cancelling their passport, preventing them from travelling for life-saving medical treatment. And of course they're still hosting an Australian concentration camp...

Nauru is not a regime we should be supporting in any way. We should not be restoring aid.