22 Oct 2008

NZ National party looks to Australia aid framework in Pacific

11:15 am on 22 October 2008

The New Zealand National party says it's approach to aid in the Pacific would look to more closely match Australia's partnerships with Island countries.

The party's Foreign Affairs spokesman Murray McCully says that New Zealand needs to refocus its aid to the Pacific so that it's not too prescriptive.

He says the global emphasis on poverty-elimination isn't a focussed enough way to target aid and there should be more emphasis on economic sustainability.

Mr McCully says Australia's approach with establishing Pacific partnerships like the recently signed Port Moresby declaration with Papua new Guinea is a good model.

"Where you sit down and negotiate a partnership arrangement which commits funding on the part of the donor government but is reasonably firm about setting some goals and establishing reciprocal obligations from the donor's point of view and I think through the framework of that sort of conversation the opportunities will become more obvious."

Murray McCully also stresses the need to reverse the trade imbalance between New Zealand and pacific countries.