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Budget 2007: Boost for NZs international presence

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

Boost for New Zealand's international presence

Budget 2007 provides extra funding for New Zealand to expand its international presence, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will receive additional funding of $104.9 million over the next four years: $14.9 million in 2007/08, rising to $30 million in 2008/09.

This will fund some new staff positions and cover offshore cost pressures. Staff numbers will be finalised after further evaluation.

“New Zealand needs to be positioned to meet the ever-increasing challenges and opportunities of the international trade and political environment. This funding will help MFAT reinforce its diplomatic network so it can better respond to the expanding agenda it faces,” Mr Peters said.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation will receive $1.8 million for its 'Seriously Asia' work programme in 2007/08.

“This work will focus on educational, community, cultural and business initiatives aimed at increasing our engagement with Asia; raising knowledge of Asia and its peoples; and assisting New Zealand’s Asian communities."

The Pacific Cooperation Foundation will receive $900,000 in 2007/08 to extend their baseline for another year and Antarctica New Zealand will receive a total of $5.9 million over the next four years to boost its contribution to the joint New Zealand/United States Antarctic logistics pool. Antarctica New Zealand will receive $1.1 million of this funding in 2007/08.

“As we celebrate 50 years of cooperation with the US in Antarctica, it’s appropriate that we commit more resources to our key Antarctic relationship."

ENDS

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