13 Jun 2005

New Zealand makes public how it will distribute its aid increases

7:39 pm on 13 June 2005

The New Zealand aid agency says the doubling of aid to Fiji is not linked to the assistance promised over the controversial Reconciliation bill.

The New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark, announced the increased aid last week, from 2.8 million U.S. dollars to 5.6 million annually for three years, and at the same time, promised help with the bill.

But, the director of NZ Aid's Pacific Division, Craig Hawke, says the increased aid will not go on the bill but on programmes for squatter settlements and for the strengthening of governance.

He says this includes strengthening the Electoral Office with a view to the upcoming elections, and continuing support for organisations such as the Human Rights Commission and the Department of Public Prosecutions.

"The aid programme has a specific aid target focus and it's developed in partnership with Fiji. So, at the moment, the programme doesn't have a specific focus around that area, or the work, the bill that's currently going on in Fiji."

Craig Hawke.