The executive director of Oxfam New Zealand says not all companies should be catergorised as profit maximisers, with some committed to social objectives and good business.
Barry Coates was speaking as consultations on the government's proposed NZ Partnerships for International Development draw to an end.
The new fund proposes opening up contestable aid funding to private businesses.
Mr Coates says such a move is an uneasy fit but he says there are a number of companies with strong values that want to put something back, citing horticultural companies bringing in Pacific Islanders for seasonal work.
"There are other examples of companies that operate ethically or with a social motive so we shouldn't categorise all business as being exactly the same in terms of profit maximisers. There are some very interesting business models out there where companies really want to be able to pursue social objectives while doing good business."