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Goff announces funding boost for Foreign Affairs

Goff announces funding boost for Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister Phil Goff today announced extra funding for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to help promote New Zealand's economic and security interests.

The government will put an additional $6.22 million into the Ministry’s baseline budget this year, rising over the next four years to an additional $22.77 million a year.

“We live in an increasingly globalised world. That brings many opportunities and benefits, but also special risks and unpredictability for a small country like New Zealand," Mr Goff said.

“It is important that we have representatives in the right place with the right skills to engage, persuade and negotiate where decisions are being taken that affect our standard of living, security and freedoms.

“A key objective of the funding will be to secure improved access in traditional and emerging markets, and to deepen economic ties in Australia, East Asia, the Americas and Europe. This is vital for job growth and an important aspect of the government's growth and innovation framework.

“The funding will increase New Zealand's capacity in world trade negotiations, including the WTO, which is essential if our agriculture industries are to maximise their competitive advantage and returns to the community.

"The Ministry will also step up diplomatic engagement in the Pacific and South East Asia as New Zealand seeks to deepen cooperation with our regional partners on security threats and socio-economic challenges.

"China is another priority area, along with other key relationships in North Asia.

"The funding will also enable New Zealand to contribute more to the growing international agenda dealing with disarmament, environment and human rights issues."

Mr Goff said the Ministry would also improve its ability to assist New Zealanders who got into difficulties overseas.

“Many of the extra capabilities were identified from lessons learned during the Bali crisis and the consular response to the September 11 terrorist attacks.”

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