9 Oct 2008

New Zealand/Niue talks agree on budgetary arrangements

5:53 pm on 9 October 2008

New Zealand's Defence Minister Phil Goff says talks with Niue's Premier have helped forge a way to streamline the funding process so that Niue gets the desired outcomes from aid money it's given.

Filling in for New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Mr Goff had talks with Toke Talagi in Wellington over the past three days, as part of bilateral official meetings.

The discussions, which focussed on Niue's budgetary arrangements, follow recent criticism from Mr Talagi about New Zealand's approach to aid and how he feels bureaucracy was hampering its delivery.

However Mr Goff says he thinks the talks have produced a meeting of minds over a way in which to proceed.

"And what we were basically trying to do is to create some flexibility around budgetary arrangements so that more responsibility rested with the Niuean government itself to spend its money while maintaining quite rigorous accountability which is New Zealand's obligation to its taxpayers."

Phil Goff