16 Feb 2011

NZ's Foreign Minister dismisses claims he devalues work of NGOs

6:26 am on 16 February 2011

New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, has dismissed claims by a think tank that he has devalued the work of development NGOs by cutting funding to several organisations which work in the Pacific.

The New Zealand Aid and Development Dialogues group has expressed concern at what it calls a change of tone brought into New Zealand's aid development programme by Mr McCully, accusing him of a bias against development NGOs.

The Minister says the government has taken a broad view of its responsibilities and is trying to streamline the programme so that the aid goes to people who most need that help.

"I've said to the NGOs that we want to have a mainstream sort of relationship with them, that we do not wish to constrain their participation by an arbitrary sum in the budget, that we'd be very happy to see a much larger financial relationship with the NGOs because frankly it's a very efficient way for us to deliver support to people around the region."

New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Murray McCully.