19 Aug 2009

NZ govt puts Pacific regional bodies on notice to lift their performance

8:13 pm on 19 August 2009

The New Zealand Foreign Minister says non performing Pacific regional bodies face cuts to the millions of dollars of funding they receive through the New Zealand aid budget, while others could get more in this year's allocations.

Murray McCully says he expects the agencies to lift their performance and put more emphasis on issues such as fishing and transport.

Last year, New Zealand provided about 13 million US dollars annually in aid to regional agencies such as the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the Pacific Islands Forum, the Forum Fisheries Agency and the University of the South Pacific.

Mr McCully says he wants to send a transparent signal about what they should be delivering.

"Not always with the intention of cutting their budgets. I think we spent about three point three million dollars last year on the Forum Fisheries Agency. My view is that we will need to do more and spend more, so I am not just talking about cutting costs, but I do think that it's fair that I should be transparent about the fact that we are going to ask those hard questions and we are going to change allocations where we think priorities should be set differently."

Murray McCully