1 May 2012

NZ business leader welcomes aid funding change

4:28 pm on 1 May 2012

New Zealand businessman, Gilbert Ullrich, whose company Ullrich Aluminium has long links to the Pacific, says a new scheme allowing businesses to contest for aid funding is a positive move to encourage economic growth in the region.

The New Zealand government's aid policy is to foster sustainable economic development and it is establishing the NZ Partnerships for International Development to replace earlier schemes.

There has been criticism that the new fund is too business-oriented and will lead to New Zealand businesses doing well at the expense of the aid recipients, but Mr Ullrich sees no conflict.

"Big business must make a profit and re-invest and repay its loan money. Everything is not set up to be a foundation or something like that. I think the Pacific Islands people are pretty profit-conscious themselves and if it can make a not a large profit but a medium-sized profit it's a good idea."