10 Sep 2013

Australia's foreign aid policy criticised by NZ charity

4:56 pm on 10 September 2013

A New Zealand charity says Australia's new government's policy of cutting foreign aid will impact on Pacific nations.

Prime minister-elect Tony Abbott's pledge to cut $US 4.1 billion from the foreign aid budget goes against a commitment by OECD countries to increase aid to 0.5% of gross national income by 2015.

The likely new Australian treasurer Joe Hockey says the money will be diverted to overdue upgrades to Sydney's roads.

A New Zealand-based charity, The Tear Fund, says that is not good enough.

Chief executive Ian McInnes says the cuts tell poor Pacific neighbours that their development needs are not important.

The government-elect has not made it clear which countries the cuts will affect.