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Cablegate: New Zealand Announces Aid Budget for the Pacific

P 020350Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5305
INFO AMEMBASSY APIA
AMEMBASSY CANBERRA
AMEMBASSY KOLONIA
AMEMBASSY KOROR
AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY
AMEMBASSY SUVA
AMCONSUL AUCKLAND
CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS WELLINGTON 000207

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND ANNOUNCES AID BUDGET FOR THE PACIFIC
ISLANDS

1. (U) On June 24, NZ Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston
Peters announced NZ's Pacific development strategy for
2007-2015. The strategy included a budget of 1.5 billion USD
for aid to Pacific Island Countries (PICs) over the
eight-year period, which included 183.7 million USD for FY
2008/2009. The 2008/2009 budget represents an increase of
15.4 percent above the 155.6 million USD allocated for
Official Development Assistance (ODA) to PICs in 2007/2008,
and 50 percent of NZ's total ODA to all countries.

2. (U) Peters also disclosed a new emphasis on developing
partnerships with PIC governments rather than merely
providing handouts. In past years, NZ's Labour-led
government has been criticized by the opposition National
Party for merely disbursing funds to PIC governments without
demanding accountability and measuring progress. According
to Peters, using a South Pacific analogy, "The canoe must be
paddled on both sides" -- meaning that NZ and PIC
beneficiaries must equally shoulder responsibility for making
aid projects work. Specifically, Peters referred to the need
for beneficiaries to adopt policies and practices that foster
economic growth and employment, improve standards of living,
and prevent corruption, poor governance and conflict.

3. (U) Australia remains the largest single aid donor in the
Pacific island region, with a 2008-2009 budget for ODA to
PICs of 585.1 million USD.

MCCORMICK

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