21 May 2013

NZ opposition rejects claims about Pacific Islands ministry

3:24 pm on 21 May 2013

The New Zealand Labour opposition MP, Su'a William Sio, has rejected claims by the Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Hekia Parata, that funding to the ministry has not been cut.

Ms Parata says the baseline figure for the ministry in 2012 was boosted by just over 550,000 US dollars in underspends from the previous two years which had been brought forward.

Additionally there had been about 170,000 US dollars for one off special projects.

But Su'a says this is an insult to Pasifika people.

He says if Pacific Island Affairs really is a priority portfolio for the government, then money would have been allocated and smartly spent, but he says New Zealand's fastest growing population is facing a far worse situation than five years ago.