Thursday, June 23, 2011

[pima.nius] NZ aid needs more Pacific focus - think tank

12:27 PM |

NZ aid needs more Pacific focus - think tank

Updated June 23, 2011 08:26:51

A new report on New Zealand's aid says it should be more focussed on the Pacific.

The report, published by the Maxim Institute, recommends New Zealand focuses aid programs on the Pacific instead of giving aid to poor countries around the world.

Currently, 56% of the country's aid goes to the Pacific with majority to Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.


Presenter:Claudette Werden
Speaker:Annette Pereira, communications manager, Maxim Institute

CARRERA: When you have lots of money come from lots of sources into one country, or when you have one country giving lots of little bits to lots of different places, it can end up complicating things. It's difficult to build strong relationships with a country under a situation like that. So that's one of the main reasons that we're recommending that New Zealand really begins to focus its aid in a clearer way on the Pacific. New Zealand's a small country, our aid budget's small, and really this is the opportunity to focus on an area where we actually have the opportunity to make quite an impact.

WERDEN: Fifty-six per cent of the aid money goes to the Pacific anyway, where does the rest go?

CARRERA: It goes to a range of places from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, it's spread really right across a lot of the classic aid recipient countries.

WERDEN: So you're suggesting that New Zealand shouldn't concentrate on Asia or Africa, but just focus on the Pacific?

CARRERA: Yeah and when we say that we're talking about New Zealand's government aid, so we're talking about the New Zealand aid program. Obviously there's a whole lot of aid that already goes through NGOs, and they have lots of reasons for why they're spread, so we're not recommending it for NGOs. We're recommending it for the New Zealand aid program itself. Yeah basically we're talking about a small budget, we're talking about a small country, and New Zealand already has strong relationships with the Pacific, understands the Pacific, so yeah there's the opportunity to really strengthen that.

WERDEN: How much money are we talking about? How much is the government aid budget?

CARRERA: From memory it's about four-billion.

WERDEN: And you say the largest amounts go to Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, should they stay focussed on those two countries, or should that four billion be spread to other countries in the Pacific?

CARRERA: At this stage we're not making any specific recommendations about that. We're just saying that regionally the area that New Zealand has the opportunity to make the most difference in is the Pacific.

WERDEN: And has it? Have you through your research worked out how significant the aid has been to those countries?

CARRERA: Yeah that's a fantastic question because it comes to another one of the recommendations in our report, which is to do with the need for more effective evaluation to take place. Absolutely it looks like there's some great stuff happening, but in terms of the measurement, the way these things are being measured, there's an opportunity for improvement. So at the moment the main way the effectiveness of that is measured is actually just through the outputs. So what is it that we're doing, we will sort of compile data about the number of text books being sent or the number of roads being built, but not necessarily about what kind of outcomes that's producing. So is that increasing the literacy of the community? Is that increasing the opportunities for trade and transport? Those are the sorts of things that we'd really love to see being evaluated in a much more vigorous way.

WERDEN: Do you have the ear of the government?

CARRERA: We don't in that, well I guess in the same way that any other organisation does or anyone who gets a little bit of attention. So we're delighted that this report has been noticed. We were pleased to say yesterday actually on some of the news reports that the government were saying that they actually are largely in agreement with a lot of the directions that were mentioned in the report. So yeah, it'll be interesting to see whether or not that translates in the coming years.


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pacific islands media association
pima.nius@gmail.com
aotearoa, new zealand
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pacific islands media association
pima.nius@gmail.com
aotearoa, new zealand
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The pima.nius googlegroup is a facility for discussion and distributing information. Content sent by this googlegroup are forwarded from various networks and media publications.
 
DISCLAIMER: These emails are unedited and discussions made through this googlegroup are unmoderated. Announcements made through this googlegroup do not constitute endorsement for the organisations, individuals or opinions featured. Please check the integrity of organisations and individuals before exchanging personal information with them.
 
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