7 Sep 2012

NZ govt's shifted aid focus in Pacific risks ignoring problems - Labour

5:04 am on 7 September 2012

The opposition Labour Party's foreign affairs spokesman, Phil Goff, says the New Zealand government's shifted aid focus in the Pacific risks ignoring the problems in the region, especially for women.

Over the past four years, under the leadership of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Murray McCully, New Zealand has cut funding to women's organisations around the region, because of the change in aid policy to focus on economic development.

The Labour Party's foreign affairs spokesman, Phil Goff says the government's focus means it is ignoring the need to eliminate poverty.


Women suffer from domestic violence, they suffer from lack of education, they suffer from lack of representation, and I hope Mr McCully is not so bound up with economic development that he ignores the full picture.

Phil Goff says New Zealand needs to ensure that the rights of all members of Pacific communities are looked after.

But New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key has defended this country's record of helping women in the Pacific.

Mr Key says New Zealand has a proud record of promoting women's equality.

We spent around 12 million NZ dollars, in the last 12 months, in terms of aid programmes very specifically focussed at female issues particularly around health, education and of course domestic violence and when it comes to all of our aid programmes one of the criteria that has to be met is gender equality. So I think New Zealand walks the walk and talks the talk

New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key.