Newsletter, News

CID Weekly: Samoan election standoff nears end, and what will Budget 2021 mean for aid?

Posted on 18 May 2021

Development & Humanitarian News

+ Vaccine roll out dashboard - last 7 days

The above graph shows the rolling 7-day average of COVID vaccine doses administered per 100 people for selected countries.

For more information go to  Our World in Data

*Oceania includes all countries in the Pacific, including New Zealand and Australia.

+ Samoan Court ruling paves way for first female leader

The Supreme Court in Samoa has thrown out the electoral office's decision to appoint an extra woman member of parliament. It means the decision breaks a month-long deadlock from the April election, handing the newcomer Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi  (FAST) party a majority.

The electoral office last month added the extra seat purportedly to meet a provision in the constitution that 10 percent of seats are reserved for women. The five elected women's seats corresponded to 9.8 percent of the 51 member house. That extra seat was appointed to the caretaker HRPP government, creating a 26-all deadlock. But the Supreme Court today returned a unanimous verdict ruling that decision was unconstitutional.

The Pacific nation of Samoa is on the verge of swearing in a new prime minister for the first time in more than two decades, and its first female head of government; Fiame Naomi Mata'afa.

Incumbent Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has stated that Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) planned to appeal the decisions and would mount further court challenges.

+ Budget season  - is aid at risk?

CID members are hoping for an increase in New Zealand's aid budget on Thursday, as COVID cases accelerate in some Pacific countries, and vaccines fail to reach the poorest countries in sufficient numbers.

Dealing with the humanitarian impacts of COVID globally, and stopping the virus in its tracks everywhere, benefits all of us. 

This is the last few days to sign the petition for the Big Hearts Campaign, calling for a boost in aid to deal with COVID.

New Zealand has done the right thing by front-loading aid to the Pacific via COVAX, the World Health Organisation's mechanism to roll out vaccines to developing countries.

But as cases continue to flare in Fiji (with at least 100 cases), and PNG (with over 100 deaths), New Zealand must maintain the pressure on the virus in our region. 

The Australian budget last week saw an effective cut in aid. According to Devpolicy, "After inflation, aid is being cut by 4.9% in 2021-22 relative to 2020-21."

"About 120 million people have been plunged back into extreme poverty and developing countries across the Asia-Pacific are being consumed by the virus. We need to get on the front-foot and counter the unprecedented rise in poverty, inequality and instability which is threatening the region," said ACFID's CEO, Marc Purcell.

CID will provide a break down of the New Zealand budget later this week.


+ New draft law on NGOs in Thailand

The collegial relationship between the Thai Government and NGOs may be set to change with a new draft law being proposed. There are more than 25,000 local NGOs, and 86 international NGOs based in the country - many of which use Thailand as a base of operations for the region.

Drafts include strengthening rules and regulations so that the Government can monitor funding and activities, prompting concerns from the sector that Thailand may be following in the footsteps of Cambodia and other countries in restricting the operations of NGOs. Human Rights Watch is also concerned at the lack of consultation and see it as a threat to Thailand's open society

+ Humanitarian crisis in Palestine

Overnight Israeli air strikes on Gaza City have destroyed power lines and water pipes, reducing more buildings to rubble in scenes of devastation repeated across the Palestinian territory, reports This Week UK.

Concern has also risen after “Hamas fired dozens of missiles towards Tel Aviv and the city of Ashdod” in retaliation for an Israeli strike on “a Gazan refugee camp, civilian towers and safe houses”, CNNreports.

For a background on why violence has flared up now, go to RNZ's summary here.

"This is the latest eruption of long-running tensions... It is the worst violence since 2014, and there are warnings it could escalate into "full scale war."


+ Humanitarian crisis in Palestine

Overnight Israeli air strikes on Gaza City have destroyed power lines and water pipes, reducing more buildings to rubble in scenes of devastation repeated across the Palestinian territory, reports This Week UK.

Concern has also risen after “Hamas fired dozens of missiles towards Tel Aviv and the city of Ashdod” in retaliation for an Israeli strike on “a Gazan refugee camp, civilian towers and safe houses”, CNNreports.

For a background on why violence has flared up now, go to RNZ's summary here.

"This is the latest eruption of long-running tensions that date back to conflict over the establishment of Israel and the displacement of Palestinians. It is the worst violence since 2014, and there are warnings it could escalate into "full scale war."

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Members Activities & Updates

+ CID Member Appeals for India

A number of CID Members are running COVID relief appeals for India - for a list of appeals, please visit the CID website.

+ MFAT Town Hall on Pacific Regional Four Year Plan

Reminder that MFAT are hosting public town hall talanoa in Wellington and Christchurch to get your thoughts on New Zealand’s development work and partnerships in the Pacific.

Christchurch: Thu, 20 May 2021 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM University of Canterbury, register here today
Wellington: Friday 28th May 11-12pm MFAT, Level 12, 195 Lambton Quay. Register here

If you can’t make it to the talanoa, you can also provide feedback through a short anonymous survey, available through this link. The survey has been extended to the 24th May.

+ Last chance for your say on the CID Constitution

Reminder that the survey on the proposed changes on the CID Constitution is closing on the 19th May.

+ Interested in taking on an (unpaid) intern? 

Is your organisation keen to have an extra pair of hands around the office? Victoria University of Wellington runs an internship programme in the second half of the year, and are seeking hosts to take on their amazing students for an unpaid internship (Wellington based). If your organisation has a potential project an intern could assist with, please contact Carine Stewart - for more details.

+ Office Space available with Anglican Mission

Anglican Mission are seeking a tenant for a ground-floor office (25m2) in a recently strengthened historic building on Mulgrave Street, Thorndon. Situated between Archives New Zealand and Old St Paul’s Cathedral, the office has been re-carpeted and painted and is only a 3 minute walk from the Station.

You can view the space here, and it has great morning sun, views toward Mt Victoria, and comes with a shared toilet and kitchen. There is also opportunity for parking for one car. Anglican Missions, a CID member agency, occupies the room next door. If you’re interested in having a look, please email Michael Hartfield  or call on 021 913 219.

+ Caritas Oceania seeking Pacific Advocacy Consultant 

Caritas Oceania is seeking an external consultant with advocacy experience in the Pacific to co-design a 3-year Regional Advocacy Strategy over June-July. The Consultant will lead Caritas Oceania Member Organisations through a process of reflection, priority setting and action planning; while strengthening the advocacy capabilities of Caritas in our region. The resulting advocacy strategy should identify the key priorities for regional advocacy efforts, key actions or strategies, and consideration of how the strategy will be managed and its effectiveness measured over time.


Applicants should submit a simple Expression of Interest to Puletini Tuala, CO Regional Coordinator on CO  by 9am (Apia time), Wednesday 19 May. Follow the link to Terms of Reference for more details:

If you would like to share your organisation's jobs, events, or recent activities, please send an email to with an outline of the activity so it can be added to the next edition of the CID Weekly. 

Pacific News in Brief 

+ CIDTalk: Legal Preparedness for Disasters in the Pacific

When: Monday, May 24, 2021
Time: 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Where: A Zoom link will be provided to those that register.- please register here.
Cost: free

People don’t often think about disaster and emergency  laws  in the middle of an emergency, but they form the invisible foundation of disaster risk management, protecting and preparing communities, establishing systems for coordination, and clarifying who should be doing what by when.  The need for an effective disaster and emergency legal framework in the Pacific is increasing.

For  over 10 years, Red Cross has been working in support of governments, regional organisations and the wider community to strengthen legal preparedness for disasters in the Pacific.   

Please join us to hear more  about the work of IFRC Disaster Law in the Pacific,  disaster risk governance trends and opportunities in the region and also how to ensure that laws and policies better protect  and include those most at risk of disasters – including  in public health emergencies.  

Mr Meiapo Faasau (Pacific Disaster Law Manager, IFRC ) and Gabby Emery (Asia Pacific Disaster Law Manager, IFRC) will present. Gabby Emery (B.A., LL. B, LL.M) heads the Disaster Law team for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Asia Pacific. Based out of Malaysia, Gabby supports the 38 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Asia Pacific to work with their governments on legislative and policy reforms for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.

+ Pacific Woman are the frontline responders

The Pacific Islands are facing the compounding - some will say multiplier - effects of climate change in addition to health and economic challenges and a dramatic increase in gender-based violence due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Pacific has faced development challenges in the past; many approaches have been tested, some successful and others not.

Pacific women are increasingly visible in global, regional, national, and community forums, voicing their concerns and connecting people with lived experiences in the Pacific region. They have been frontline responders to the pandemic and the emerging effects of the climate crisis.

The Shifting the Power Coalition (StPC) was established in 2016 to build the collective power, influence, and leadership of Pacific women to shape inclusive responses to natural disasters and climate change. StPC is building an inclusive, feminist model of partnership and collaboration, rather than replicating existing patriarchal systems of practice, and this requires listening to young women and providing them with safe, intergenerational spaces in which to learn and develop.

+ Memories of Tongan LGBTQI+ activist sparks calls for reform

Candlelight vigils have been held around the region to remember Tongan LGBTQI+ activist, Polikalepo "Poli" Kefu, who was found murdered near his home in Lapaha this month. Kefu is remembered as a fierce humanitarian rights activist whose work spanned years, particularly advocating for Leiti of which he was the president of the Tongan Leitis' Association, and Communications Manager for Tongan Red Cross.

Tongan authorities have granted an exemption to the 50-person cap on indoor gatherings, so that people from across the Pacific country can come together for a candlelight vigil in memory of Kefu.

Polikalepo's death has been covered in the media globally, and prompted calls from throughout the Pacific for reform of policies impacting on LGBTQI+ communities regionally.


Useful Links, Webinars & Podcasts

+ CID Workshop: Social Inclusion and Diversity - 2nd and 3rd June

Social Inclusion is about embracing diversity, ensuring that all people feel recognised and accepted, and are free from prejudice and discrimination. In the international development sector, we place great importance on these principles and values that underline our work, but we also need to consider how these values play out internally within the New Zealand sector, and within our organisations.

Our bi-cultural foundations, Te Teriti o Waitangi, and the evolving Māori-Crown partnership, are fundamental to understanding social inclusion in the New Zealand context and a guiding principle for our work in the Pacific. Just a week after the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, this two-day workshop will open a dialogue in order for our organisations to mirror the inclusion practices we promote overseas.

Practical, on-line workshops with 2x two-hour zoom sessions
Wednesday 2nd June 12:00pm - 2:00pm NZST and Thursday 3rd June 12:00pm - 2:00pm NZST
Please register here.

+ BDO Rethinking the Social Profit: Governance, Investment and Impact Webinar

This webinar will be discussing 3 BIG Issues in the Social Profit (or Public Benefit Entity) sector. While these are all big issues in their own right, this webinar will provide you with valuable experience and practical ideas to move your organisation forward.

You will want to attend if you;
- work in the Social Profit sector
- are a Director who sits on the board of a Social Profit organisation
- are an executive at a SME or larger organisation that has a genuine interest in the workings of this sector.

Date: Thursday 20th May at 8:30-9:30am

Register here



+ CID Members Advocacy Roundtable

The roundtable is a chance for CID members to get together and discuss joint advocacy in terms of:
  • A shared understanding of what advocacy means for the sector (as opposed to mobilising, campaigning, marketing, or educating?)
  • What different organisations do advocacy and mobilisation on (key priorities)
  • The target audience; government and/or the New Zealand public (or others, eg business)
  • How different organisations could best collaborate on advocacy campaigns, or join in on, or promote existing campaigns
  • Determining some communication channels and next steps
  • Role of partners in-country in advocacy?
  • Is there an appetite for a member-led ‘Public Engagement and Advocacy Committee’?
The roundtable will inform CID’s work, and will also be a great chance for the advocacy leads of different organisations to get to know each other.

Location: In person, Wellington
Date: 1-5pm Wednesday 16th June 2021
Please register here.
+  Reach out to us on:
  • The next round Manaaki funding - let us know if you are applying?
  • Applying for the Papua New Guinea NZDRP.
  • CID Conference - who should come and speak, ideas?
  • Membership - know of any NZ organisations working in international development who should join the whānau as Affiliate members?
Contact us at