28 Jul 2009

NZ says it's helping Pacific to combat climate change

3:18 pm on 28 July 2009

The New Zealand Climate Change Minister, Nick Smith, says his country is doing what it can to help its neighbours in the Pacific mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Oxfam New Zealand has released a report suggesting the region's struggle against climate change is being ignored by New Zealand and Australia.

Nick Smith says the report properly raises the concern that Pacific nations are at risk from climate change.

He says New Zealand is not ignoring the struggle.

"The truth is the new government has made plain that it wants to refocus its aid budget more on the Pacific. There's very large sums of money from New Zealand taxpayers going in to support the Pacific, and the Prime Minister's recent visit to there, has really shown a shift and a focus on the needs of the Pacific in New Zealand's wider aid budget."

Nick Smith says part of New Zealand's role in international climate change negotiations is to bring the world's attention to the unique difficulties Pacific nations have.