20 Jun 2006

NZ Aid programmes to Pacific won't change following IWC vote - Minister

8:08 pm on 20 June 2006

New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has ruled out making Aid packages to Pacific countries dependent on votes at international forums.

His comments follow outrage over Pacific support for Japan after it won a key vote at the International Whaling Commission, against New Zealand and other countries.

The vote, which could set the stage for the ban on commercial whaling to be overturned, was supported by Solomon Islands, Nauru, Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, and Palau.

Mr Peters says his opposition counterpart, Murray McCully's suggestion of binding aid to the compliance of Pacific countries with the policies and procedures of donor countries is naive and foolish.

He says New Zealand is held in very high esteem for the transparency and fairness of its overseas aid programme and the government won't be altering that course in reaction to this issue.