An expert on Chinese foreign aid says China is learning lessons about how to deliver aid through ventures like the Cook islands Te Mato Vai water project.
China and New Zealand have worked together on the scheme to pipe water around Rarotonga which is one of the first of China's trilateral aid projects in the region.
China's also working with Australia on malaria diagnosis and research in Papua New Guinea.
Denghua Zhang has just submitted his PhD thesis on Chinese foreign aid in the Asia Pacific at the Australian National University.
He spoke to Sally Round.