WikiLeaks cable: Approach to aid in the Pacific

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

This is one of the diplomatic cables about New Zealand held by Wikileaks.

June 16, 2006

SUBJECT: NZAID: APPROACH TO AID IN THE PACIFIC

(U) Classified By: Political-Economic Counselor Katherine Hadda, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) On June 16, Poloff met with Craig Hawke, Director, Pacific Group, New Zealand's International Aid & Development Agency (NZAID) to discuss GNZ's official development assistance (ODA) and to explore opportunities for U.S.-New Zealand cooperation in the region. Hawke said the Pacific is an "over-aided region, and that the last thing the Pacific needs is another aid project." Rather, Hawke suggested, U.S.
weight and influence would be more useful promoting policy dialogues. "Australia and New Zealand are seen as neighbors," Hawke added, "and the U.S. can add its voice as an external, neutral party -- especially given its global perspective on governance and human rights."

2. (SBU) When GNZ established NZAID as a semi-autonomous agency four years ago, Hawke said its two primary goals were elimination of poverty and a focus on development in on the Pacific. New Zealand's ODA is centered substantially on 18 countries, with 11 of those in Melanesia and Polynesia. NZAID is mainly pursuing programs to strengthen governance, achieve broader-based economic growth, and improve education
and health.

3. (SBU) In the last three years, GNZ has increased it ODA allocation to the Pacific by 50%, to NZD 173 million (USD 109 million) as of the 2005/06 program year. This Pacific allocation represents 55% of total ODA (up from 45% three years ago). The primary target of increased spending are programs for income generation, rural livelihoods, investing in infrastructure for the poor, trade and economic
cooperation, fisheries, and regulatory reform, Hawke said.

4. (C) Hawke noted that NZAID's goals for the Pacific are largely consistent with those of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). However, Hawke noted that MFAT and NZAID had differing but complementary views on security objectives in that MFAT is focused on physical security (e.g. border management, port container security) and NZAID is more concerned with "human security" (e.g. socio-economic security concerns centering on conflict prevention, squatter
settlements, natural resource management, environment management, and disaster mitigation and response).

McCormick

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