3 Jun 2004

New Zealand aid organisation criticises bank attitudes to Pacific nations

10:37 am on 3 June 2004

New Zealand's aid community has criticised the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank for their lack of consultation in Pacific Island countries.

The Council for International Development - the umbrella group for NGOs - says it will raise the matter at a meeting between representatives of both banks, NGOs and academics in Wellington today.

The director of Oxfam New Zealand, Barry Coates, a member of the Council's board, says the banks are not widely consulting parliaments or civil society groups.

"What we hear is that often those consultations either are not well planned and don't include many of the groups who should be around the table or they exclude some of the most important issues such as the policy advice that these banks give or the conditions that they attach to their loans."

Mr Coates says today's meeting is a chance to try and persuade the banks to use their power and influence more appropriately to benefit people in the Pacific.

He says that in the past the banks have favoured standard economic liberalisation policies that do not suit everyone.