24 Aug 2006

Debaters in New Zealand tackle the alleged stinginess of this country's foreign aid

7:39 pm on 24 August 2006

Politicians and political commentators will tonight debate whether New Zealand is meeting its international aid obligations.

The debate at Victoria University is titled "I can smell the stinginess on your breath."

Former Aid Minister Marian Hobbs will lead the motion calling on the

government to set a timetable to give 0.7 percent of Gross National Income in aid by 2015.

She will be backed by former MP Matt Robson and top student debater

Holly Walker.

Opposing them will be National Party aid spokesperson John Hayes, along

with political commentator Matthew Hooton and another top student

debater Gareth Richards.

One of the organisers, Council for International Development executive

director, Rae Julian, the New Zealand Government's poor record on aid goes to the heart of a core foreign policy platform.

She says it is a timely reminder to the government to face up to its United Nations obligations, especially after anti-poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof's scathing criticism of what he called its pathetic and disgraceful record.