2 May 2009

NZ's Foreign Minister says new aid approach already bearing fruit

1:11 pm on 2 May 2009

The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, says the Government's new approach to aid is already bearing fruit.

He has ended the stand alone status of the aid development agency, NZAID, with the aim of improving service delivery.

Mr McCully says the aid emphasis now will be on economic development rather poverty elimination.

The Minister wants to see a closer alignment between aid and trade and says talks have already been held with Australia on this.

Mr McCully says they have been able to alleviate concerns among the island nations in negotiations on the Pacific's closer economic relations deal, or PACER PLUS, that New Zealand and Australia might apply the same sorts of onerous conditions imposed by the WTO.

"The New Zealand and Australian Governments have made it quite clear that they have got no wish to impose those sorts of arbitrary requirements on smaller Pacific nations. We are looking to try and find a format that is very user friendly from their point of view which makes the appropriate concessions. We want trade to be a development tool not a challenge to development."