Turn the page on poverty

Aid in depth

  • Commit to a timetable for achieving New Zealand’s commitment to 0.7 percent gross national income (GNI) spent on aid by 2015
  • Retain autonomy for New Zealand’s International Aid and Development Agency
  • Focus New Zealand aid on the poorest and most vulnerable areas of the Pacific, Timor Leste and Papua

Why should NZ commit to 0.7 percent of GNI spent on aid?

As many as 1.4 billion people in the developing world (one in four) are living in extreme poverty, on less than US$1.25 a day, according to the World Bank. If you take one of our closest neighbours, Vanuatu, at least 40 percent of the population lives below the National Basic Needs Poverty Line.

Oxfam believes New Zealand can do better. We need do our fair share in the fight on global poverty, especially in the Pacific, by reaching 0.7 percent Gross National Income (GNI) for overseas development by 2015. WE may not feel rich but New Zealand is collectively the 20th richest country per head out of 177 countries in the world, so we can afford to help the poorest in other countries. Moreover, a 2007 survey undertaken by UMR Research found that 76 percent of New Zealanders supported giving Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and more than 60 percent of New Zealanders supported meeting the 0.7percent target.

We should not only give aid because of a moral commitment to help others, but helping others in other countries will also make this a safer and more secure world for all. We welcome the recent increase in ODA in recent years but New Zealand was still only ranked 17th out of the 22 OECD countries for overseas aid spending per capita in 2007 as a proportion of national income.

Why should NZAID keep its current level of autonomy ?

NZAID (New Zealand’s International Aid and Development Agency) was established in 2002 with a certain amount of independence from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). The establishment of a separate aid agency enabled NZAID to develop better policies and practices. The current National government re-integrated NZAID back into MFAT.