Wednesday, 6 May 2009


In the past few weeks Murray McCully has taken a few hits for trying to bring some accountability to NZAID and refocus it into economic development. Today McCully announced a big fat donation to fund the Fred Hollows Foundation one of the great charities started by Kiwi Doctor Fred Hollows. Just goes to show that the Tories really do help poor people in the best possible way despite all the spin by Labour.

New Zealand is contributing $5.6 million to a trans-Tasman project that will improve eye health, and treat blindness in the Pacific, Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced today.“It is estimated that there 80,000 blind people and a further 250,000 with impaired vision in the Pacific,” Mr McCully said.

“Up to 75 percent of blindness is preventable, and the economic and social impact of poor eye health in our region will continue to grow if not addressed.“The government’s funding will allow the Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand, over the next three years, to train and equip at least 45 eye nurses and eight eye doctors throughout the Pacific and in Timor-Leste.

“After training, each new eye doctor will be able to perform at least 200 cataract operations and see over 1000 new patients a year in their own country.

“The Foundation – which has an excellent reputation for the quality of its work in treating eyesight problems in developing nations – will also establish a regional surgical and training facility in Suva; initiate a new diabetes eye program, and establish locally-run eye testing and glasses supply services throughout the Pacific,” Mr McCully said.

The Australian government is contributing $11.2 million to this project.

The government’s aid and development agency, NZAID, has supported the Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand to train eye health professionals, including doctors, ophthalmologists and nurses since 2002.

Brings a tear to BB's eyes.


StephenR said...

I'll add you to my 'National's cheerleaders' bookmarks section.

Anonymous said...

Can only be loudly applauded.
Always a quirk in these things though. Did you notice that the new training center is going to be in Suva.
This despite both NZ and Aust. govts. being completely at loggerheads with the Fiji Govt.

All god though.

bustedblonde said...

yip we tend to be in the cheer leading squad but we can on occasion sing out of tune and distract the team from time to time. But thats ok - we think they quite enjoy our style. So 2-4-6-8 and all that....

Tim said...

It's unfortunate, but absolutely everything is located in Fiji, the irony is of course, that Fiji houses the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat so kicking them out is oddly humorous considering that its in Suva.

bobux said...


I thought former journos were supposed to be a little less gullible.

Read the article. NZAID have been giving money to the Hollows Foundation since 2002. The only "news" is that McCully has got himself pictured standing next to a big cheque. There isn't any evidence the he is more or less 'generous' with our money than the ministers who preceded him, Peters or Goff.