16 Oct 2008

NZ charity's call to be more aggressive in aid appeals

4:34 pm on 16 October 2008

The outgoing head of Save the Children in New Zealand says aid organisations are having to become more aggressive in how they approach people for money.

John Bowis is stepping down as executive director of the charity after 21 years.

He has overseen a number of health and social welfare programmes, particularly in Papua New Guinea, which has one of the highest maternal death rates in the world.

He says PNG has been very important to the organisation.

"Papua New Guinea has become our patch, and I think we have built a good reputation there, and have done a lot. One example, one of our major projects we started training 60 volunteer health workers in 1995, we now have 800 volunteer health workers. You can just imagine the impact that that has."

John Bowis says when he first started there was about 50,000 US dollars available from the New Zealand government, a number that has now increased to about 3.5 million dollars.