14 Nov 2012

Call to clarify link between NZ aid and business

4:25 pm on 14 November 2012

An aid watchdog group says the New Zealand government needs to give the public a guarantee that its foreign aid is not being used to help New Zealand businesses.

Aid and Development Dialogues has raised the issue after the New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said the PNG Government wanted the aid funding used to induce New Zealand businesses into partnerships.

A Dialogues spokesperson, Jo Spratt, says New Zealand taxpayers want to see their aid dollars going to the poorest people, not into company coffers.

She says the Government needs to publish feasibility documents that show the benefits of bringing private enterprise into the aid programme.

"Essentially this is an aid subsidy to New Zealand businesses, which might be OK but what happens if they start making profits, are they going to pay the aid back so that we can then use that to help other poor people in other places? It is just not straight forward and there are lots of questions about it particularly when New Zealanders want their aid to go to help the poorest people."

Aid and Development Dialogues spokesperson Jo Spratt.