8 Nov 2019

Academic warns against geostrategic motivations for aid

10:18 am on 8 November 2019

An academic has warned against New Zealand's aid programme becoming motivated by the rise of China in the Pacific.

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Photo: ANU

Terence Wood, a former NZ Aid worker who is now with the Australian National University, addressed a Parliamentary inquiry into New Zealand's aid programme on Thursday.

Dr Wood said other countries, particularly the US and to a lesser extent Australia, were starting to direct their aid to what he called "geostrategically alluring" projects.

"This is concerning because if we start engaging in a new cold war with a primary consideration driving our thinking about aid in the Pacific as countering the influence of China, it will come at a cost to the effectiveness of our aid with respect to helping people in the Pacific."

New Zealand had the advantage of actually being liked in the region, Dr Wood said.