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Tighter focus for governance in the Pacific

15 August 2003 Media Statement

Tighter focus for governance in the Pacific

A dedicated programme to target the unique governance needs of the Pacific was launched today by Aid Minister Marian Hobbs.

She made the announcement from the Pacific Islands Forum, which is being held in Auckland this week and attended by Pacific leaders.

Also attending the Forum is Mark Malloch Brown, head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Mr Malloch Brown has pushed successfully for a major expansion to the United Nation’s support for democratic governance to developing countries.

The NZAID, Pacific Programme for Strengthening Governance (PPSG) brings different regional governance programmes under one coherent scheme. NZAID is the agency in charge of New Zealand’s overseas development assistance.

"The new programme allows us to focus on the unique needs of the Pacific, which are inevitably different to the governance needs of other regions in the world," Marian Hobbs said.

Good governance programmes help developing countries strengthen their electoral and legislative systems, improve access to justice and public administration, and improve capacity to deliver basic services to those most in need.

"Good governance is not just about policing and justice systems," Marian Hobbs said. "It's also about taking minutes and recording decisions so that communities can move forward."

Approximately 40 per cent of NZAID’s assistance in the Pacific supports programmes in governance, in countries like Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and others.

The new programme will have four elements: building strategic partnerships (for example with regional agencies and civil society groups), funding new initiatives for governance, projects to promote peace-building and conflict prevention, and a Small Grants Scheme for projects in the $3,000 to $50,000 range.


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