14 Jul 2006

Backing for Bob Geldof criticism of New Zealand's aid spending

6:46 pm on 14 July 2006

Rock star and humanitarian campaigner, Sir Bob Geldof, says New Zealand's official overseas aid effort is pathetic.

He says it should be providing much more than the point two seven of one percent of gross national income - a figure which places New Zealand near the bottom of countries providing overseas assistance.

His comments have been backed up by the executive director of the council for international development, Rae Julian, who says it is time the government stopped sitting on its hands and set a timetable for reaching its commitment to spend point seven of one percent of GNI on aid by 2015.

But the New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters, says although Bob Geldof's determination to increase international aid is highly commendable, he got his facts on New Zealand wrong.

Mr Peters claims New Zealand's aid contribution is well ahead of the international average.

He says, in addition, the government's NZAID programme is acknowledged internationally as being highly effective.