The head of a leading NGO in Fiji says her organisation's work empowering women will be undermined by the change in direction taken by the New Zealand aid development agency, NZAid.
Last week, the Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, announced the aid agency had been re-absorbed into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and would now focus on sustainable economic development rather than poverty reduction.
Over the past seven years, NZAid has established close links with civil society groups throughout the Pacific that aim to help the most vulnerable people in the region.
One such organisation is the Fiji Women's Right Movement, and its head, Virisila Buadromo, says the move will stymie its efforts to empower women and hasten gender equality.
"By empowering women, it's about reducing poverty and unfortunately the current policy that's been adopted by the New Zealand government will marginalised groups like us as well as our constituents from receiving direct aid from the New Zealand government that is needed here in Fiji."