27 Mar 2009

Fears expressed for NZAID

9:59 am on 27 March 2009

The Labour Party says it is concerned the Government plans to get rid of NZAID, the organisation that distributes Government aid money internationally.

At present, NZAID is a semi-autonomous body within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, responsible for its own budget and management.

The Government says it does not plan to get rid of it, but may move it back within the ministry.

Labour's Associate Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Phil Twyford, says that is where it was eight years ago, and a review at the time found it was very important for the organisation to have clear objectives.

He says otherwise, the money risks being used to support the Government's political and diplomatic agendas, for instance to support, punish or reward Pacific Island nations.

An aid summit organised by the Labour Party is being attended by aid and development organisations and the Green, United Future and Progressive Parties on Friday.