21 Mar 2012

Aid lobby group says NZ government changes to aid have left it inefficient

2:57 pm on 21 March 2012

The New Zealand Aid and Development Dialogues lobby group says changes the National government made to the country's aid programme have left it inefficient and of low quality.

In 2009 the aid programme's focus was changed from poverty elimination to sustainable economic growth and it's status as a semi-autonomous body was also removed.

NZADD co-ordinator, Jo Spratt, says the reasons provided for the changes were based on incorrect information or ignorance of aid and development thinking.

She says the changes mean the New Zealand government is not making the best use of scarce aid resources.

"If you're trying to make sure that New Zealand's economy does well, then maybe it is the best way. But if you talk about aid policy and aid money that's to achieve the development goals of our development partners and to get the most effective use of that money you need to focus on those goals, and those goals alone."

Jo Spratt says the government needs to speak to real people on the ground to find out exactly what type of aid is needed.