2 May 2009

NZ's McCully says priority will be given to projects that foster growth

5:17 am on 2 May 2009

The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, says his Government's new approach to aid will give priority to projects that foster growth.

The Government has ended NZAID's stand alone status and is changing its direction to a focus on economic development.

Mr McCully says a key driver for this is a belief New Zealand needs to do better with its nearly half billion dollars in aid spending.

He says the continuing depopulation in parts of Polynesia, the ongoing trade imbalance and often poor state of infrastructure show that New Zealand's aid has done little to develop sustainable economies.

Mr McCully says more aid will go towards infrastructure projects that lend themselves to economic activity.

"The New Zealand Government has always been involved in some of the major infrastructure projects around the Pacific in terms of port development and airports. But I think we need to escalate the activity that is taking place there and we need to make sure that we have a good understanding between New Zealand and Australia and other donors so that we have got co-ordinated strategies to achieve these sorts of objectives."