The New Zealand government has rejected claims its decision to give more than three million US dollars to a private company in its budget last week, amounts to favoritism.
Some in the Pacific community say there was no consultation process before the contract was awarded to the Pacific Economic Development Agency.
But the Minister of Pacific Affairs, Georgina Te Heuheu, says the government wants to strengthen business and enterprise skills in the community, and PEDA pitched a persuasive argument.
Mrs Te Heuheu says the decision reflects the direction the government wants to take.
"Some of the things we've been doing for the last two decades have clearly not worked. Because if you think about the way that Pacific people in Auckland were impacted by the recession, of which we are just coming out of, they were hit hard. We don't want that to happen again. This is looking to see where we can up the ante to help communities develop."
The Minister of Pacific Affairs, Georgina Te Heuheu.