1 May 2009

New Zealand rearranges aid delivery in policy shift

1:08 pm on 1 May 2009

The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, has announced that the semi autonomous aid agency NZAid is being re-absorbed into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr McCully says the change will improve aid delivery and see a change in emphasis from poverty elimination to economic development.

Don Wiseman reports;

"Mr McCully has also indicated that the Government is committed to increasing the aid budget over the next three years by nearly 25 percent. He says NZAid could not be treated as a sacred cow beyond the stewardship of the Government of the day. He says the aid budget is a key part of the Foreign Affairs portfolio, which needs to be aligned with the management of New Zealand's wider foreign policy interests. Mr McCully says driving the changes is a fundamental belief that New Zealand must do better as a force for positive change in the Pacific. He says New Zealand's aid dollars have done little to build sustainable economies and this is shown by the continuing depopulation in parts of Polynesia and the ongoing trade imbalance, while infrastructure is in decline. Mr McCully also says working with Australia the Government will aim to achieve sustainable economic growth in the Pacific through an alignment of trade and aid policies."