As the government prepares to release its Budget 2022, the Council for International Development (CID), and its member
aid agencies are calling for greater transparency in budget spend and more investment in the overseas aid programme.
“Covid continues to adversely impact lives and livelihoods across the Pacific, and there is a long recovery ahead. With
many Pacific countries reliant on tourism, and the world re-opening, it is expected their economies will remain brittle
for at least the medium term.” Said Paul Brown, Interim Executive Director of the Council for International Development
In an address at a Pacific Debt Conference
, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Mark Brown, said: “What this pandemic has shown us that we cannot just employ the
‘normal’ economic responses to this abnormal situation.”
CID recognises the government’s challenges in achieving balance and supporting the domestic agenda, while also ensuring
Aotearoa New Zealand maintains its mana as a global citizen. Global events like Covid, the emergence of a new regime in
Afghanistan, and more recently the tragic war in the Ukraine, highlight that though we may be geographically remote, we
are tightly connected within a global system.
“We saw Australia’s budget announcement in March provide some significant lifts in its aid programme. In our region New
Zealand can present a lead position with its approach through a shift to longer term aid, and further partnering with
Pacific country governments and their community organisations. Our region faces complex challenges including rapidly
absorbing the impacts of climate change which create further stress on these countries.” Said Paul Brown
CID applauds Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s aspirations to embed Māori principles and ways of working into New Zealand’s
development; including bringing Pacific diaspora organisations and leaders to the table and promoting locally owned
development, in the spirit of Tino Rangatiratanga. CID hopes to see the upcoming budget leverage this aspiration with a
meaningful aid envelope.
A number of CID’s member aid agencies are calling for a 20% increase in the aid budget
to address global need. “In an increasingly unstable world, New Zealand’s contribution to a strong global community
through overseas aid is more important than ever.”