28 May 2004

NZ Green MP says budget priority wrong

3:37 pm on 28 May 2004

A New Zealand Green MP, Keith Locke, has taken issue with yesterday's government announcement to increase funding for counter terrorism measure while failing to meet targets for overseas development assistance.

Mr Locke, who is the party's spokesperson on foreign affairs, says New Zealand now gives only 0.24 percent of Gross National Income in aid while the international standard is 0.7 percent.

He says this is because of wrong priorities.

"The money seems to be going in the wrong direction, into counter terrorism measures and there isn't a great terrorism threat in the Pacific. I think we are being a bit spooked by the United States and all their propaganda about terrorism and New Zealand and its example and it's pushing this on Pacific countries as well and is spending to much on counter terrorism and too litlle in actually dealing with poverty."

Keith Locke