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Labour Organises `Summit' Meeting To Discuss Aid

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Phil Twyford
Phil Twyford

Wellington, March 26 NZPA - The Labour Party has organised a "summit" in Wellington tomorrow to discuss the future of New Zealand's development aid to other countries.

MP Phil Twyford says there is widespread concern about the Government's review of the way aid is handled.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced the review on March 3, saying payments had become "a handout rather than a hand up" and NZAid's mandate of poverty elimination was too broad.

"You could ride around in a helicopter pushing hundred dollar notes out the door and call that poverty elimination," he said.

NZAid has a $480 million budget and Mr McCully said that would not change but the review could include considering re-integrating the agency with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It was separated by the previous government in 2002.

Mr Twyford said most of New Zealand's non-government aid and development organisations would be represented at the meeting.

"New Zealanders want to be good global citizens," he said.

"Our aid programme touches the lives of millions of people and spends serious amounts of taxpayer money.

"There hasn't been any public consultation over changes."

A press conference will be held in Parliament after the meeting.

NZPA PAR pw nb

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