Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


NZ Mired Near Bottom of Class After Budget Cuts to Aid

For immediate release: Thursday May 24, 2012

Oxfam: New Zealand Mired Near Bottom of Class After Budget Cuts to Aid

New Zealand today failed to honour its promises to assist the poorest communities in the world work their way out of poverty by slashing $133 million from its Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) budget over the next three years, putting us even further behind OECD peers, says international development agency Oxfam.

The cuts come at a time when our Pacific neighbours and others in the developing world face problems of economic recession, high food prices, natural disasters and the increasingly destructive impact of climate change. Over a billion people are hungry and desperate need of aid.

“We now give around $2.40 per week from each person in New Zealand, that’s less than one flat white each week. This cut to the aid budget means we will fall even behind most of our peers in the OECD,” said Oxfam New Zealand’s Executive Director Barry Coates.

This government inherited a plan to reach $600 million by 2010, but has deferred it in each successive budget – and now this budget pushes it out to 2015-16. Meanwhile the commitment is worth less and less in real terms. As a proportion of Gross National Income, the usual measure for comparing aid, the aid programme will fall from 0.3 per cent to 0.24 per cent by 2014-15, close to the lowest level ever for New Zealand’s government aid.

The cuts have us falling further behind the United Nations target of 0.7 per cent GNI to aid – a target agreed and affirmed several times by New Zealand and other OECD countries.

In comparison, five countries (Sweden, Luxembourg, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway) already meet or exceed the target, and the EU as a whole has committed to reaching it by 2015. Across the Tasman, the Australian government is closing in on an allocation of 0.5 per cent GNI to overseas aid by 2016. That’s still short of the target, but our Australian neighbours are way ahead of us in aid generosity.

“We are mired near the bottom of class amongst our OECD peers in the generosity of our aid giving, even when relative income is taken into account,” said Coates.

“Meanwhile, as individuals, we are second to none – New Zealanders are the most generous in the world. This sends a clear signal that our government can and must do better.”

This is not the time for New Zealand to turn our backs of our Pacific neighbours. They are already suffering from a drop in remittances from New Zealand (especially Samoa and Tonga), weak demand for their exports, and high prices for imported food.

Aid isn’t a handout. It is an investment in our future and that of our neighbours. We need a stable, prosperous and secure Pacific, not only for their benefit, but also our benefit. We spend five and a half times as much on defence as we do on aid. It’s time to recognise that investment in decent livelihoods, human rights and the basic necessities for human dignity are essential for a peaceful Pacific. Preventing conflict is far more cost effective than intervening to secure the peace afterwards.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Virtues (and Fluffed Opportunities) Of The Operation Burnham Report

One unspoken rule of thumb in any official public inquiry is : whatever you do, don’t conclude you were made to listen to “a litany of lies” even if the evidence of a deliberate cover-up is right there under your nose. In that respect, the report into the 2010 Operation Burnham military raid in Afghanistan has been a model of decorum. Bad stuff did happen and has been duly noted and lamented - but only as a lapse and departure from usual professional standards. Normal service can be trusted to resume shortly... More>>


Office Of The Speaker: Parliament Is Revamping Its Rules

Today, the Standing Orders Committee’s report on the review of Standing Orders was presented to the House. The Speaker of the House, the Rt Hon Trevor Mallard, chairs the committee. He said today that the 2020 review will make our rules more ... More>>

Environment: Govt Progress On Climate Change Essential, Risk Assessment Shows

The release of the National Climate Change Risk Assessment shows that the progress this Government has made to solve the climate crisis is essential to creating cleaner and safer communities across New Zealand. “Because of this report, we can see clearer ... More>>

Economy: Investing In The Tourism Sector’s Recovery

More than $300 million in funding has been approved to protect strategic tourism businesses, drive domestic tourism through regional events and lift digital capability in the tourism industry, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. A $400 million ... More>>


National On MP Bill: Waka-Jumping Repeal Bill Passes First Reading

The Electoral (Integrity Repeal) Amendment Bill has passed its first reading, marking one step closer to Parliament getting rid of NZ First’s ‘waka-jumping’ legislation, National List MP David Carter says. “I’d like to thank the Greens for voting ... More>>


Covid-19:Legislation For Managed Isolation Payments Introduced

Hon Dr Megan Woods Minister of Housing Legislation to allow the Government to recover some of the costs for managed isolation and quarantine will be introduced to Parliament today, said Minister of Housing Megan Woods. “The Bill will allow the government ... More>>


Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>


Energy: 100% Renewable Electricity Grid Explored With Pumped Storage ‘battery’

The Government is taking a significant step toward its goal for 100% renewable electricity generation in a move that could be a game changer for consumers and the creation of a low-emissions economy, Energy & Resources Minister Megan Woods said. ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels