May 09, 2018
Pacific priority in aid boost
Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand dropped the ball over the past decade with cuts to foreign affairs and aid, and the Labour-New Zealand First Government is determined to turn that around.
Next week's budget will include $130 million over the next four years to rebuild capacity at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade and $714 million in aid, with much of it going to the Pacific.
Mr Peters says New Zealand lost 100 senior diplomats in the past 9 years, coinciding with a decline in trade, and its the aid budget was heading to 0.21 percent of GDP, the lowest in the OECD.
The spending will give New Zealand back its voice.
"The aid programme is being boosted not just for the Pacific but in terms of our multilateral engagement on serious areas of concern from Myanmar to the Middle Eeat. Nations of the world are expected to step up in these crises, otherwise the world just deteriorates, so in all respects we have stepped up," Mr Peters says.
Last night's Australian Budget also increased foreign aid.
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