24 Jun 2008

NZ Aid commitment focus could change under National Government

7:42 pm on 24 June 2008

The foreign affairs spokesman for New Zealand's main opposition party, Murray McCully, says it supports, in principle, the major commitment to the Pacific by the New Zealand aid agency, NZAID.

The agency is to provide aid of 1.5 billion US dollars to Pacific nations in the eight years to 2015, in a strategy focussing on governance, economic development, health and education, and helping communities in the region to cope with change.

Mr McCully says the strategy fits with what his party has been pushing for, though the emphasis could change if it becomes government.

"We would want to see a stronger commitment to sustainable economic development as an objective for our aid programme in the region. We would like to see a stronger focus on a planned development of infrastructure within the region. We are very concerned about the need to reverse trade imbalances which are appalling."