10 Jul 2017

Brownlee wants focus on Pacific development, not aid

1:56 pm on 10 July 2017

New Zealand's foreign minister says he wants to continue to shift his country's aid towards economic development.

Gerry Brownlee has been Defence Minister and oversaw the Canterbury rebuild.

Gerry Brownlee Photo: RNZ / Jane Patterson

Gerry Brownlee's predecessor, Murray McCully's approach to development assistance has been criticised by some as helping New Zealand businesses and creating white elephant projects.

Organisations which work on alleviating poverty in the Pacific, and which have lost funding, have also criticised the change.

But Gerry Brownlee said his tenure would not see any major departure from Mr McCully's approach, which he said was helping Pacific countries help themselves.

"Getting rid of that word aid and promoting the word development in the contributions that New Zealand makes to life in the Pacific is where I'd like to see things head. If you just want to spend your time treading water, eventually you'll drown. If you want to invest in some swimming lessons you've got a chance of saving yourself and that's the type of approach I'd like to invest in."

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