2 Jul 2004

Tongan MP denies aid cut claims

1:25 pm on 2 July 2004

A parliamentarian in Tonga is denying he ever made a statement that New Zealand would cut off its aid to Tonga.

The Tonga Broadcasting Corporation says Akilisi Pohiva made the clarification following media reports from New Zealand which said he'd criticised New Zealand for helping the wrong people when it donated aid to Tonga.

Mr Pohiva says he did say that aid is sometimes counterproductive, and aid to the third world is making people rely too much on aid and it makes them lazy.

New Zealand's foreign minister, Phil Goff, said there was no way his country helped democracy by denying people in the outer islands access to clean water.