Who Runs NZAID’s "Global Group"?

According to NZAID’s website, the organisation’s “Global Group”, which distributes half of NZAID’s aid budget, is headed by Don Clarke.


Don Clarke has been Director of NZAID’s Global Group since the agency was established in July 2002. Don has extensive experience in the non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector, especially in the area of international aid and development. His professional experience has included national-level administration, strategic planning, programme development, policy development and advocacy in organisations such as the Council for International Development, where he was Executive Director from 1990/1994, and the Commonwealth Foundation (London), where he was Deputy Director from 1995/1998. Don has also been a journalist and publisher.

Here are a few more tidbits about Mr Clarke.

In the early 70s Don Clarke was Dunedin contact for the Organisation to Halt Military Service (OHMS). This group was headed by Clarke’s friend, Robert Reid, a Maoist and later a member of the Workers Communist League.

In 1975, Clarke was chairman of the selection panel charged with choosing delegates for a NZ University Students Association tour to China. Of the several Maoists on the tour at least two, John Ryall and Harold Merriman went on to join organisations preceding or succeeding the Workers Communist League.

By 1983, Clarke was involved in the “aid” agency CORSO and was based in Wellington and representing that organisation, addressed a Wellington demo on November the 4th, protesting the US invasion of Grenada. Wellington CORSO was heavily populated in the ’80s, by Workers Communist League linked activists such as Dave Cuthbert, Paulette Keating, Sandy Smith and David Stott.

In 1987, Clarke went on the first NZ coffee picking brigade to Nicaragua. “Salient” No 4, 1987, carried an article on Nicaragua, by Carol Stevenson. Those wanting more information were urged to contact Don Clarke at CORSO or Gordon Campbell of the Latin America Committee.

In July that year, Clarke addressed the South Pacific Conference for Peace and Justice in Central America in Wellington. Among those listed as sponsoring the conference were the Socialist Unity Party, the Socialist Action League and the Workers Communist League.

In 1988 Clarke was CORSO International Programmes officer.

By 1990 Clarke was spokesman for the Vietnam Action/Information Network (VAIN)

He wrote an article for the Socialist Unity Party’s “Tribune” of July 30th entitled “US Drops Khmer Rouge”, on the Cambodian crisis. He implored through Tribune for people to join VAIN.

In March that year, Clarke, representing the “Nicaragua Must Survive Campaign” wrote a full page article for the Workers Communist League’s “Unity” newspaper on the recent electoral defeat of the Sandinista government. This was Unity’s last issue before the WCL morphed into a new organisation, “Left Currents”.

In 1991 Clarke was the producer (Through New Work Trust) of a new journal focusing on union issues, “Labour Notes”. Many contributors to Labour Notes had former Workers Communist League or Left Currents connections including Robert Reid, Maxine Gay, Campbell Duignan, Bruce Cronin, John Ryall, David Steele and the late Rob Steven.

From 1992 to 1994, Clarke was national co-ordinator of the Council for International Development, an umbrella group of NZ “aid” agencies”. At least two former WCL members were involved in CID, Robert Reid and Sue Bradford.

In 1994 Clarke participated in the “Building Our Own Futures Project”. Other BOOF participants included WCL or Left Currents linked activists, Robert Reid, Maxine Gay, Sue Bradford, Bill Bradford and Quentin Jukes.

In 1995 Clarke became Deputy Director of the Commonwealth Foundation, based in London. The organisation was government funded and charged with supporting unofficial Commonwealth, NGOs, Cultural and Voluntary organisations.

Clarke returned to NZ in 1998 and became involved in NGO programmes for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He was an “international development specialist(Civil Society, Human Rights, Social Impact and Development Research).”

Clarke was responsible for development research in NZAID, a “semi autonomous agency of MFAT with task of developing the countries $230 million Overseas Aid programme“, supporting projects in the Pacific, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Now Don Clarke is the director of NZ’s largest provider of taxpayer’s money to NGO’s and other organisations (including possibly Hamas) all over the globe.

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3 thoughts on “Who Runs NZAID’s "Global Group"?

  1. Ahh, but has he moved on from his past. There are many prominent ex-commies today, or not so ex (Hitchens is the most obvious).

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