NZ Refugee Policy review, Rapid Response to Monsoon, new MFAT Human Rights Plan and more

Posted on 17 September 2019

+ CID Annual Conference - Registrations Open!

‘Beyond Aid: Partnerships for the Future’ is the theme of this year's CID Conference. It will be held on 21 October 2019 at Massey University Wellington.

International keynote speaker, Dr. Jean-Pierre Verbiest, will deliver a powerful speech on this theme. Jean-Pierre has held senior positions in the Asian Development Bank and has for many years served as a council member and policy advisor to the Mekong Institute, an intergovernmental not-for-profit Institution owned by the six countries of the Mekong Region and founded through collaboration between the New Zealand and Thailand governments. For more details about Jean-Pierre's experience, click here.

In addition to the keynote speech, the agenda of the day will include an AGM, an innovative ‘World Café’ forum on Partnerships, four workshops facilitated by CID Members, the annual Photo Competition, the CID Collaboration Award, and an evening dinner event.

The event will be MC'd by Dr Gill Greer.

For more information about the agenda and for registering to the event, click here.

Also, CID is looking for conference sponsors. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, please email

+ MFAT - NGOs Annual Hui
Manatū Aorere/MFAT is pleased to invite you to register for the Annual Hui with New Zealand NGOs on 22 October, 8.30am - 4pm.
The hui will be held at the Tiakiwai Conference Centre, which is located in the National Library of Aotearoa/New Zealand in Wellington.   
Please register your interest in attending by emailing  by 5pm on Friday 27 September 2019.  A single RSVP for each organisation would be appreciated, if possible, including:
  • Names and roles of staff members attending
  • Dietary requirements/preferences
  • Mobility and/or access or other requirements 
You are of course welcome to make changes if staff become available/unavailable, up until 12 October - as the venue will require finalised attendee lists by that time.    
Registered participants will be sent further details on the programme and venue closer to the time. Manatū Aorere/MFAT looks forward to your participation.

+ New Zealand's Refugee Policy Under Review 
New Zealand's refugee policy restricting the intake only to those with 'family links' in the country has come under increased scrutiny, with a recent petition by World Vision representative Carsten Bockemuehl highlighting the unfair nature of the policy. Currently, the policy discriminates against entire regions with only 27 of the 1004 refugees from 2018 being accepted from Africa, without citing any specific security concerns as to justify this disproportionate statistic.

The select committee's response to the petition did not suggest immediate changes would be made to this policy. The 4 page report suggested that the government "take into account the first-hand evidence and perspective' when considering the policy. 

Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon has strongly criticised the 'racist and discriminatory' policy, saying "To imply that African and Middle Eastern refugees pose a security threat and can slip through the cracks is misleading and reinforces harmful stereotypes."

However Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Holloway recently issued a statement, noting that the policy was being reviewed as a part of the three-year review of the refugee policy, suggesting that there may be changes yet to come. 

+ Record Rapid Response to Monsoon Ravished Rohingya Shelters
Unusually heavy monsoon rains have inundated Rohingya refugee camps in Southern Bangladesh, resulting in more than 15,000 affected and in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. In response, the World Food Programme launched its biggest emergency response of the year for the displaced Rohingya familie, providing food assistance for 16,000 people in just 24 hours. 

However, the situation is at risk due to a lack of funding, and without the continued support of the international community WFP would be unable to maintain supplies. ISCG Senior Coordinator, Nicole Epting, said “Funding is still urgently needed to sustain preparedness and response for the remainder of the monsoon season, replenish stocks, improve communications infrastructure, repair monsoon-related damage, and increase the capacity of mobile response teams. Only 38 percent of the response is funded, compromising essential services and the health and wellbeing of both the Rohingya and host community population.” 

+ CID Humanitarian Network Nominations
The current CID Humanitarian Network Chairperson (Mark Mitchell - World Vision NZ) and Deputy-Chairperson (Linabel Hadlee – cbm New Zealand) will be stepping down in October 2019 after completing their respective two-year terms. Foremost we would like to thank both Mark and Linabel for their immense contribution and support in these roles.

CID is currently in the process of receiving nominations from member organisations of the CID Humanitarian Network. All nominations need to be received by COP Monday 30th September 2019. Voting for both these positions will take place at the next network meeting in Wellington on Tuesday 8th October.

If you are from a CID Humanitarian Network member organisation and wish to nominate one or more persons for the position of either CID Humanitarian Network Chair or Deputy-Chair, or have any other questions, please contact Aaron Davy at

+ Select Committee Submissions on NZ ODA in the Pacific
The New Zealand Aid and Development Dialogues has sent out an interesting update on the submissions to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee inquiry into New Zealand’s aid to the Pacific. All the submissions are now publicly available here. Good background information on the inquiry is here.

Terence Wood writes on the NZADD update that 46 submissions were made. Nine of these were supplementary submissions (background information submitted by someone to complement their main submission). Of the other 37, by his quick count:
  • 39% were submitted by NGOs 
  • 14% were submitted by academics or students (with one academic submission coming from a group)
  • 14% were submitted by the private sector (including aid contractors) 
  • 31% were submitted by interested citizens (of these 36% had obvious experience as aid workers).
Submissions covered a range of topics, including cutting all aid (or continuing it only as loans), the importance of high-level principles like the SDGs, and specific technical issues. 

+ New Zealand’s International Human Rights Action Plan 
New Zealand's International Human Rights Action Plan (2019-2023) was presented at MFAT's offices on 5th September. Detailed implementation plans are yet to be finalised and we were informed that the INGO sector can be expected to be invited to workshops later in the year. More can be found here.

+ ACFID Webinar
A couple of months ago, the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), through their Gender Equality Community of Practice (self-coordinated through an online platform, similar to the Slack groups we are creating on our new website) hosted a Webinar on "Gender and Faith in the Pacific".

The webinar represented an opportunity to hear from local faith and development actors and their respective Australian partners on the relevance, experience, and impact of ongoing faith-based approaches to tackle gender-based violence in the Pacific and perspectives on gender programming within a faith framework.

If you have missed it, the webinar is available on ACFID YouTube channel.


Human Rights