2 Sep 2010

New Zealand Opposition says Foreign Minister McCully on ideolgical crusade over aid spending

2:09 pm on 2 September 2010

New Zealand's opposition foreign affairs spokesman Phil Twyford says the country's Foreign Affairs Minister is on an ideological crusade as he slashes aid to Pacific NGOs.

Murray McCully has said getting value for money is now the focus of New Zealand aid which will continue to increase to a target of 600 million dollars a year.

But Mr Twyford says there's a clear pattern emerging of aid cuts to programmes the Minister doesn't like the look of and as a result morale at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is at a very low ebb.

"The series of cuts are not being done on the basis of any evaluation, any impact assessment, any kind of policy analysis. More often than not what's happening is that embarrassed officials from the New Zealand government aid programme relay verbally to the NGOs a decision the minister has taken to discontinue their funding."

Phil Twyford says Mr McCully's old fashioned views on economic development risk benefitting the business elite rather than poor people.