Cronyism scandal: Aussies join NZ in holding money back from the Commonwealth Secretariat

It’s great to hear the Anzacs are sticking together and Australia has joined New Zealand in withholding funds from the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The Sydney Morning Herald says the Morrison government will slash funding to the secretariat in retaliation to a cronyism scandal that has sparked an international feud over its secretary-general.

In a decision that undermines Baroness Patricia Scotland’s plan to remain in the top post, Australia has cut $800,000 from a fund earmarked for the London-based Commonwealth body and will refuse to hand over the remaining $500,000 unless flaws in how it operates and hands out lucrative contracts are fixed.

As Point of Order reported on February 1, New Zealand is withholding $3 million of funding for the secretariat.

A brief statement has been issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Continue reading “Cronyism scandal: Aussies join NZ in holding money back from the Commonwealth Secretariat”

Why Peters should put the PGF aside for a moment and tell us about NZ’s relationship with the Commonwealth

It’s not like Winston Peters to miss an opportunity to make the headlines.

Point of Order accordingly is bemused by a report in London’s Daily Mail about New Zealand deciding to hold on to 2.5 million pounds owing to the Commonwealth Secretariat.

This amounts to a saving to taxpayers of more than $5 million in NZ dollars – something we thought Peters would want to crow about.

But it isn’t mentioned in any of the dozen or so press statements from Peters’ office so far this year.

Hence we have cause to be sceptical.

For what it’s worth, a Daily Mail report yesterday was headed Baroness Scotland is hit by £2.5m cash snub as New Zealand pulls funds from her Commonwealth Office because it has ‘no confidence in how she’s running it’

The report tells us: Continue reading “Why Peters should put the PGF aside for a moment and tell us about NZ’s relationship with the Commonwealth”