Charities are voicing fears that under a National Government public funding for NGOs would be administered by an Australian NGO called Mission Australia with dire consequences for small charities here. The NGOs say Key thinks there are too many NGOs here and wants to starve them of cash.
Mission Australia does the admirable work you expect from a charity, working on homelessness, gambling addictions, and the like. But it is also a monopolist, using its government contracts to squeeze out other charities and keep public funding of NGOs for itself. Additioanlly, it is ‘faith-based’ and it has introduced Christian sectarianism to funding. Kiwi NGOs fear that if Mission Australia gets to hand out charity monies under a National Government, the same thing will happen here.
Mission Australia also runs part of the benefit payment scheme in Australia and operates work-for-the-dole programs. This means billions of dollars of public money is ultimately dished out by a private organisation and removes democratic accountability for the largest part of government spending. We must now ask: Does National plan the same for New Zealand?
It’s worth noting that one of Mission Australia’s business partners is Macquarie Bank. The same Australian bank that John Key held secret meetings with to discuss having the bank build and own future public schools and hospitals in New Zealand – the taxpayer would pay rent the properties and Macquarie would make big profits.
Coming on top of the announcement last week that Key plans to give $200 million in profit to Aussie insurers by privatising the ACC scheme, you have to ask why all Key’s policies seem to be about making money for large Aussie corporates. Just don’t expect a straight answer.