17 May 2013

New Zealand called on to allocate more to foreign aid

3:22 pm on 17 May 2013

The New Zealand Aid and Development Dialogues group says the New Zealand government needs to allocate more funding to foreign aid.

The group says the government can be commended for a slightly higher aid spend in this year's budget, up just over seven million US dollars to 465 million US.

But ADDs spokesperson, Terrence Wood, says this is less than the rate of inflation and cuts New Zealand's foreign aid contribution as a percentage of gross national income, despite long standing commitments to increase it.

And Mr Wood says the spend doesn't stack up in comparison with Australia, especially given Treasury forecasts that New Zealand will return to surplus more quickly than Australia.

"And when you look at what Australia has done with a pretty bold increase in their aid spending, you would have to think that if there was sufficient political will in New Zealand right now, we could be doing at least a little more to help people in poorer parts of the Pacific and other parts of the world."

New Zealand Aid and Development Dialogues spokesperson Terrence Wood.