14 Dec 2010

NZ MPs raise concerns about size of public service in some Pacific countries

8:32 am on 14 December 2010

New Zealand MPs have raised concerns about the size of the public service in some Pacific Islands.

A report by this country's Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee says the public sector in some of the countries has grown disproportionately at the expense of the private sector, particularly in Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands.

The Green Party MP, Keith Locke, who sits on the committee, thinks New Zealand should reconsider the level of aid given to those countries.

He also supports the recommendation of trying to bring health and education there up to New Zealand standards.

"But I'm a bit wary of us being seen as the big brother and bashing those countries. I think we've got to work co-operatively to make sure there's both there's both aid accountability and also fulfill what the report proposes to get a decent health and education system in Niue, the Cooks and Tokelau."

The Green MP, Keith Locke.