27 May 2010

More criticism over Pacific funding deal

7:00 pm on 27 May 2010

New Zealand's Pacific Affairs Minister, Georgina Te Heuheu, is facing more criticism over the government's decision to allocate more than three million US dollars to a private company, headed by a Samoan.

A community leader, Fa'amatuainu Wayne Poutoa, who is Samoan himself, says the decision could be seen as favouring Samoan New Zealanders.

Mrs Te Heuheu has confirmed there was no tender process but says the Pacific Economic Development Agency got the funding after presenting a persuasive case.

Mr Poutoa says because most of the people at the agency are Samoan with Samoan contacts, the decision could mean other Pacific communities feeling hard done by.

"What I'm talking about here is the process once again. And to ensure that, that process is robust and to ensure that process is inclusive of all the Pacific Island communities. Because once again, if that's the case, you could have people saying that the Pacific Island Affairs should really be recalled and renamed the Ministry of Samoan Affairs."

Wayne Poutoa of the group, Streets Ahead 237.