18 Jul 2006

New Zealand Government told it can't take credit for remittances

8:52 am on 18 July 2006

An expert in development aid says the New Zealand Government cannot take credit for the millions of dollars that immigrants send back to their home countries.

Last week Foreign Minister Winston Peters challenged Sir Bob Geldof's severe criticism of New Zealand's overseas aid effort, saying the humanitarian campaigner was ignorant of the facts.

Sir Bob says New Zealand's point two seven of gross national income in foreign aid was pathetic.

Mr Peters says it is significantly higher if aspects such as the money remitted by immigrants to New Zealand is taken into account,

But the Professor of Development Studies at Victoria University, Vijay Naidu, says New Zealand is the beneficiary without any investment in nurturing or education.

"These people would also be paying taxes to the New Zealand authorities and it is their hard earned money they are sending back home, and the sacrifices of the family at home that resulted in them coming to New Zealand in the first place. It is a form of arithmetic that is not particularly helpful."