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The New Zealand government provides a separate appropriation for the majority of its official development assistance activities.  In 2010, the amount of aid provided equated to about 0.26% of GNI. The appropriation includes funding for bilateral, regional, and multilateral programs, with a particular focus on the Pacific region. A recent policy document sets out the overarching objectives, policy considerations, and approaches relating to the provision of development assistance. Aid is untied and there is an emphasis on partnerships with recipient countries and with international organizations in terms of establishing joint priorities as well as in implementing the aid program. New Zealand’s development assistance activities also include scholarships, a guest worker program, and initiatives aimed at improving the remittance system. The aid program is managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which also works with other government agencies and with New Zealand nongovernmental organizations involved in foreign aid activities. Oversight mechanisms include mandatory annual reports to Parliament as well as external peer reviews and evaluations.

I.  Introduction

A.   Official Development Assistance Figures

The most recent OECD figures available show that New Zealand’s official development assistance (ODA) funding was US$352.83 million in 2010, which equated to 0.26% of Gross National Income (GNI).[1]  The New Zealand government sought an ODA budget for the 2011/12 financial year of NZ$586.17 million (about US$491.55 million), which is made up of the following:

  • Over NZ$61 million for the “Management of New Zealand Official Development Assistance (ODA)”
  • Over NZ$94 million for contributions to international organizations
  • Nearly NZ$33 million for contributions to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Nearly NZ$129 million from an existing multiyear appropriation for Global Development Assistance
  • Nearly NZ$269 million from an existing multiyear appropriation for Pacific Development Assistance[2]

The OECD has noted that “New Zealand plans to achieve an ODA level of $NZ 600 million by 2012-13 and appears on track to meet this.”[3]  The New Zealand government did not provide GNI percentage figures in its ODA budget documentation for the current financial year and also stated that the planned increases had been deferred:

From 2002 to 2009, New Zealand increased Vote ODA [ODA appropriations] progressively to achieve ODA:GNI targets. Since 2009/10, budget increases for Vote ODA are based on performance and delivery of outcomes, rather than ODA:GNI targets, resulting in New Zealand committed [sic] to increases of $25 million in 2011/12 and $50 million 2012/13 and outyears.

However due to current fiscal pressures, the commitment to further increases in Official Development Assistance has been deferred over four years rather than two. This results in a decrease of $100 million spent on Official Development Assistance over 2012/13 to 2014/15.

As 2011/12 is the final year of the Pacific and Global multiyear appropriations, it includes the reforecast of funds unspent in the first two years. This results in an increase in expenditure in 2011/12, compared to the original forecast in Budget 2009. A multiyear appropriation has this flexibility to allow for the time to develop activities over the three year period.[4]

B.   Private Contribution Figures

In its 2009/10 Annual Report, the Council for International Development (CID), an umbrella organization for ninety-five nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working in the area of international development, stated that income generated through fundraising by the NGOs for the 2009/10 financial year amounted to NZ$130 million (about US$107 million) received from an estimated 750,000 New Zealanders.[5]  The Council reported that there had been a significant reduction in the funding that it received from the New Zealand government for the year, as well as challenges faced by members arising from a number of natural disasters in the region.[6]

C.  Snapshot of Foreign Aid Activity

In March 2011, the New Zealand government published an “International Development Policy Statement” that sets out its “overarching policy” on international development assistance.[7]  The document followed a number of structural and funding changes and policy adjustments relating to New Zealand’s aid program that were introduced in early 2009 by the incoming government.  This included establishing the following mission statement:

The mission of the New Zealand Aid Programme is to support sustainable development in developing countries, in order to reduce poverty and to contribute to a more secure, equitable, and prosperous world.[8]

Specific themes and approaches that contribute to achieving this overarching goal are discussed in the sections below.

In terms of the geographic focus of New Zealand’s aid program, priority has historically been accorded to the Pacific region, where there are unique challenges as well as historical ties between New Zealand and the various countries within the region.  The current government has clearly stated that this focus should be maintained and that “there will be close cooperation with Australia and other donors on development in the Pacific, in line with our commitment in the Cairns Compact, the Paris Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals.”[9]  Over half of New Zealand’s total aid spending goes to countries in the Pacific region.[10]

In addition to the Pacific region, the government has stated that there will be a “targeted approach” to providing development assistance to countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.  This is due to New Zealand’s relative size, with the government therefore stating that New Zealand’s “comparative advantage” in a selection of areas should guide the program.[11]  This means that, in Africa and Latin America, a significant focus of the aid program will be support for agriculture, while in Asia “New Zealand will focus on complementing ASEAN’s (Association of South East Asian Nations) community building goals through the agreed flagship areas of scholarships, agriculture, disaster risk management, and fostering young business leaders.”[12]  The education and economic linkages with Asian countries is also reflected in New Zealand’s support for tourism, renewable energy, and English language training in that region.[13]

Documents published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), which manages the New Zealand Aid Programme, provide more specific information about its activities and approaches in different areas.  The overall program was previously made up of thirty-three programs in a range of countries and sectors.[14]  However, starting from the 2011–12 year, a new program framework has been adopted that will reduce the number of programs to twenty-four.[15]  These programs include bilateral support, involving direct assistance to twenty countries;[16] regional programs aimed at contributing to “the reduction of poverty by focusing on thematic issues such as growth and livelihoods, education, health, governance”;[17] and partnerships with and contributions to multilateral agencies and programs.[18]  In terms of this latter area, a significant proportion—around one third—of New Zealand’s ODA budget is spent on working with multilateral agencies.  Following a review, ten agencies have been prioritized for increased engagement.[19] 

This engagement with multilateral agencies, as well as with New Zealand NGOs, is an important aspect of New Zealand’s approach to responding to humanitarian needs and natural disasters, particularly outside of the Pacific region.  The MFAT New Zealand Aid Programme division provides advice to Ministers on responses to specific emergencies.  Broadly, however, beyond the Pacific, “New Zealand’s response is generally part of a broader international effort with support provided through United Nations (UN) multilateral agencies specialising in humanitarian assistance, the Red Cross movement and New Zealand nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) with partners in the affected country.”[20]

The New Zealand Aid Programme also partners with other New Zealand government agencies in order to plan and implement some of its activities.  The involvement of such agencies in the program is discussed further below.

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II.  Legal Framework

A.  Regulation of ODAs

1.  Overview

The overarching policies relating to the development and implementation of New Zealand’s aid program are established by executive branch decision-making processes (i.e., involving the responsible Minister and the Cabinet) with funding and agency activities overseen by Parliament, which must approve appropriations.  MFAT, as the relevant executive agency, is responsible for implementing these policies and for providing information and advice to the government to assist its decision-making, as well as developing the accountability documents required by law.[21]  In this context, the government in March 2011 established the mission statement set out above along with four “priority themes” that “will guide the New Zealand Aid Programme in stimulating sustainable development.”[22]  These are

  • investing in economic development,
  • promoting human development,
  • improving resilience and responding to disaster, and
  • building safe and secure communities.[23]

These themes, and the types of activities that fall within them, are explained in further detail in the policy document.  In addition, the document sets out a number of approaches related to the development and delivery of the aid program that are intended to:

  • Make aid more effective;
  • Improve efficiency and value for money;
  • Enhance accountability for results;
  • Integrate cross-cutting and thematic issues;
  • Increase responsiveness and flexibility;
  • Ensure consistency of development assistance and foreign policy;
  • Focus on New Zealand’s comparative advantage; and
  • Work through partnerships.[24]

Some of the approaches that relate to these goals are drawn from or include references to international objectives, commitments, and best practices, while others reflect domestic values and interests.

The above policies are also reflected in Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Statement of Intent for 2011–2014.  The international development assistance mission statement is set out as “Outcome 4” in this document, which also sets out intermediate outcomes for the period covered.[25]  The themes and approaches established by the government are then included to demonstrate how the agency intends to achieve those outcomes. 

In terms of the legislative regime, MFAT, including its management of the aid program, is governed by the range of statutes that apply to all government agencies.  These include the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and Human Rights Act 1993, Official Information Act 1982, the Public Finance Act 1989, and the State Sector Act 1988.[26]  In addition, the terms of United Nations sanctions relating to countries, individuals, or entities, as implemented in New Zealand through individual regulations, need to be adhered to by New Zealand government agencies and NGOs.[27]

2. Implementing Agencies

Twice in the past ten years the structural arrangements relating to the agency responsible for New Zealand’s ODA program have been changed significantly.  Prior to 2002, the program was managed by MFAT.  Then, in 2002, the government established a semi-autonomous agency within MFAT called the New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID).[28]  This agency operated until 2009 when the incoming government rescinded the semi-autonomous status of NZAID and reintegrated the management of the program back into MFAT, with the program renamed as the New Zealand Aid Programme.[29]  The rationale for the change in status explained that it would

  • normalise institutional arrangements within MFAT by bringing NZAID into line with standard management and accountability arrangements for Public Service departments;
  • be enabling in nature with regard to future developments. Subsequent questions around whether, what, how and when actual changes may occur in terms of any integration of NZAID and its operations in MFAT would be a matter for the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade to determine in his or her capacity as chief executive of the department. The onus would be on the chief executive to consult with relevant Ministers and others, to ensure that the institutional arrangements for MFAT including NZAID are fit for purpose to deliver on all the goals and priorities across the Foreign Affairs Portfolio.[30]

MFAT’s mandate with respect to the management of the ODA program was also amended in 2009 in order to “reflect the Government’s priorities as set out in the pre-election manifesto.”[31]  In particular, the central focus of the program shifted from the elimination of poverty to “sustainable economic development.”[32]  The government’s decisions also included the geographic focus, development approaches, and thematic issues discussed above.[33]  An overview of the political context for the policy directions and institutional arrangements was also considered by the Cabinet and this information made publicly available.[34]

MFAT is the lead agency for New Zealand’s external relations and works closely with, and is consulted by, other agencies that are involved in work that impacts this area.  Government agencies may receive ODA-related funding, either directly through their own appropriations for specific activities or through arrangements that form part of the New Zealand Aid Programme.  For example, the New Zealand Police and the New Zealand Defence Force receive some direct funding for the operation of international programs aimed at improving law and order and security, particularly in the Pacific.[35]  These agencies may also receive funding through the New Zealand Aid Programme for activities such as assisting with responses to natural disasters. 

In terms of other funding for government agency initiatives, the New Zealand Aid Programme operates the State Sector Development Partnerships Fund, which “provides a contestable funding source for New Zealand state sector organisations to work in partnership with New Zealand’s development partners to achieve sustainable development outcomes in their areas of expertise.”[36]

3.  Restrictions

The policy context, discussed above, includes specific reference to the need to align the aid program with New Zealand’s broader approach to foreign and trade policy.  In fact, MFAT’s Statement of Intent for 2011–2014 states that:

Development cooperation advances New Zealand’s well-being by contributing to New Zealand’s relationships with partner countries and the building of a secure, equitable and prosperous world. It is a core pillar of New Zealand’s wider foreign and trade policy.[37]

However, this focus on the country’s broader interests and policies does not include any requirements relating to the use of New Zealand products and contractors in delivering the program.  The International Development Policy Statement includes the following statements in explaining the approaches that will be used to improve efficiency and value for money in the aid program:

  • Development interventions, approaches and practices will represent the best value for money for New Zealand and country partners.
  • Value for money will continue to be evaluated at the inception of new initiatives, during design and during procurement. Increased efforts will be made to ensure that this can be demonstrated.
  • New Zealand will engage in a strategic dialogue with partner country governments to ensure that both aid resources and partners’ domestic resources are used as effectively as possible to achieve development outcomes.[38]

The New Zealand Aid Programme’s contracting processes follow the government’s procurement guidelines.[39]  These guidelines focus on value for money and include requirements relating to “open and effective competition” among suppliers from any country, while also seeking to ensure “full and fair opportunity for domestic suppliers.”[40]  MFAT’s guidance for contractors clearly describe a nondiscriminatory approach, stating that “[t]here are no restrictions in relation to who may submit a tender.  Consultants are not required to be resident in New Zealand or be New Zealand citizens.”[41] 

The contracting processes include open tenders as well as an Approved Contractor Scheme, which “provides MFAT with a pool of pre-tendered, pre-selected consultants to undertake short-term assignments.”[42]  This scheme is currently under review to ensure that contracting aligns with the strategic direction of the program.[43]

Among other situations, the open tender process is applied where MFAT “wishes to outsource the implementation of an in-country New Zealand Aid Programme project.”[44]  A particular model is used in these cases, involving the contractor assuming responsibility for the management of the project’s implementation in conjunction with the relevant agency in the partner country.  This is seen as promoting “partner ownership, achieving more sustainable outcomes, delivering good results efficiently, and flexibility to meet changing and emerging needs.”[45]

In terms of the use of goods manufactured in New Zealand, MFAT has recently provided information to the body that represents manufacturers (ManufacturingNZ) regarding why New Zealand’s aid spending cannot be tied to New Zealand suppliers.  This information was aimed at supporting MFAT’s view that “there are bigger benefits to New Zealand companies if aid is not tied to local suppliers but is put out to tender to all comers, as this allows NZ companies to tender in a much bigger international aid pool than if we were just tendering for the NZ aid spend.”[46]  It included figures showing that New Zealand suppliers and contractors had benefited from contracts arising from Asian Development Fund and World Bank projects.

4.  Discretionary Aid

The New Zealand Aid Programme includes contestable funding opportunities for government agencies, NGOs, private entities, and individuals.[47]  The guidelines for these funds set out particular objectives, criteria, and documentation requirements that must be met before funding can be granted, with funding decisions made at the discretion of MFAT.  In addition to the State Sector Development Partnerships Fund referred to above, the following funds are available:

  • Asia Development Assistance Facility-Partnerships for Sustainable Development (ADAF-PSD), which is targeted at government agencies and private entities that have established a partnership with an organization from an eligible country in Asia.[48]
  • Latin American Development Assistance Facility-Partnerships for Sustainable Development, which is similar to the ADAF-PSD fund but focused on projects relevant to development priorities that involve partnerships with organizations in Latin America.[49]  This fund is currently under review.
  • South Africa Fund for Exchange (SAFE), which was established to “assist in building people-to-people links between the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa and New Zealand by facilitating opportunities for people-to-people interaction and exchange.”[50]  Applications must be submitted jointly by the New Zealand and Eastern Cape based parties.
  • Pacific Island Countries Participation Fund, which supports attendance by Pacific Islanders at regional and international conferences.[51] 
  • International Development Research Fund (IDRF), which assists New Zealand-based researchers to carry out research likely to improve development policy and practice in partnership with researchers from developing countries.[52]  This program is also currently under review.[53]
  • Postgraduate Field Research Awards, which are available to students from New Zealand universities seeking to undertake field research in developing countries.  This program, along with the IDRF, is currently under review.[54]

5.  Oversight

MFAT, including the New Zealand Aid Programme, are subject to the standard oversight mechanisms applicable to New Zealand government agencies.  These include Ombudsman investigations and reviews,[55] Auditor-General processes,[56] and parliamentary oversight by way of appropriations and accountability requirements, such as the mandatory annual reporting system.[57]  The government’s International Development Policy Statement states that MFAT “will use its Annual Report to monitor and report on progress, including the fit of the New Zealand Aid Programme with the themes and approaches set out in this policy.”[58]

The policy document also includes reference to the need for “robust monitoring and evaluation procedures” to ensure that the program is accountable and to improve practices as well as mitigating future risks.[59]  The New Zealand Aid Programme defines evaluation as “the assessment of planned, ongoing or completed development projects.”[60]  The program is also subject to reviews, “which take place at key points during the lifetime of a development activity.”[61]  Reviews and evaluations are managed by divisions within MFAT’s New Zealand Aid Programme and involve commissioning reports from external providers.  An Evaluation and Research Committee provides “oversight of evaluative activities and research studies” and “ensure[s] close feedback between evaluative activities and programme planning and development.”[62]  An Evaluation Policy Statement and Evaluation Guidelines explain how evaluations are to be carried out.[63]

New Zealand is a member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Network on Development Evaluation[64] and is subject to periodic peer reviews under the OECD processes.  The most recent peer review report was published in 2005.[65]

6.  Policy Considerations

As part of its approach to the aid program, New Zealand has made clear moves towards greater coordination with other donors and with recipient countries in terms of focusing assistance on jointly identified areas of need.  The International Development Assistance Policy includes a statement that aid activities “will be closely aligned to partner country needs, and support will be provided to partners to develop sound plans, seek innovative ideas and jointly monitor implementation.”[66]  In addition, the document states that “New Zealand will engage in a strategic dialogue with partner country governments to ensure that both aid resources and partners’ domestic resources are used as effectively as possible to achieve development outcomes.”[67]  There is also to be increased focus on mutual accountability for results and on greater accountability on the part of recipient governments.[68]

These concepts were also reflected in the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific,[69]  signed in 2009 by New Zealand and Australia together with other members of the Pacific Islands Forum.[70]  This compact was based on a number of principles, including reference to the need to draw on international best practices as expressed in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and an acknowledgment that “country leadership, mutual accountability and mutual responsibility between Forum Island countries and their development partners are fundamental to successful development outcomes.”[71] 

The agreed approaches set out in the compact include annual reporting by Forum Island countries, with assistance from New Zealand and Australia, on the implementation of a process of regular peer reviews of national development plans; annual reporting by the Forum Secretariat on progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and the effectiveness of development efforts in the region; and “directing the Forum Secretariat to coordinate with relevant development partners to develop a ‘road map’ aimed at progressive strengthening of Forum Island countries’ public expenditure management, procurement, accountability and monitoring systems so they are the best delivery mechanisms for official development assistance.”[72]  In addition, the countries agreed that there should be close alignment of regional aid efforts with regional priorities.

In July 2011, within the context of the principles of the Cairns Compact and other international declarations, New Zealand entered into joint development agreements with Samoa,[73] Tonga,[74] and the Cook Islands.[75]  These agreements set out mutually agreed goals and investments in priority sectors in order to guide New Zealand’s development assistance efforts in those countries.  They also establish commitments from the recipient countries, including the development of long-term sector plans and the reflection of these in national planning and budgeting processes, and the provision of clear guidance on areas each country wishes New Zealand to invest in.  Under the agreements, discussions on performance and progress towards the goals are to be held annually.

B.  Regulation of Private Contributions

New Zealand NGOs and private entities operating in the area of foreign aid must comply with the relevant registration and reporting requirements that apply to companies,[76] charitable organizations,[77] or incorporated societies,[78] depending on their organizational arrangements.[79]  Entities with a “charitable purpose” that are registered by the Charities Commission may receive tax benefits.[80]  Such entities are required to submit annual returns to the Commission.[81]  Charitable organizations that are assessed by the Inland Revenue Department as being fully exempt from tax do not need to file income tax returns unless requested, but are required to maintain accurate records.[82]

If an entity’s own rules permit funds to be spent on a charitable purpose overseas it can still register as a charity in New Zealand.  The Charities Commission states that

  1. New Zealand entities will not fail the charitable purpose test simply because they have an overseas purpose or their public benefit is directed overseas—for example, a New Zealand entity established with the purpose of relieving poverty in another country.
  2. To be eligible for registration under the Charities Act, overseas entities must either be ‘established in New Zealand’ or have a ‘very strong connection’ to New Zealand so that we are able to monitor them and carry out our enforcement functions.[83]

Donations to charitable entities that meet the criteria for “donee status” may entitle the donor to a tax credit under the Income Tax Act 2007.[84]  The Inland Revenue Department administers the process for entities to be treated as a donee organization, including receiving information from the Charities Commission.[85]  However, there are limitations on the ability for entities involved in charitable work overseas to qualify for donee organization status.  The Inland Revenue Department states

[d]onations to organisations that apply most of their funds overseas will not qualify for donee organisation status, unless the organisation:

  • has been approved as a donee organisation by the New Zealand Parliament, or
  • sets up a separate fund maintained exclusively for providing money for charitable, benevolent, philanthropic, or cultural purposes within New Zealand.[86]

New Zealand government funding for New Zealand-based NGOs is primarily distributed through contestable funding programs.[87]  Organizations that wish to apply for funding must be accredited by MFAT.  Two funds are available: the Sustainable Development Fund, which focuses on activities relating to sustainable economic development, and the Humanitarian Response Fund.  Eligibility criteria and conditions of funding, including reporting requirements, are set out in guidelines provided for each fund.[88]

In conducting their activities, NGOs and other private entities must comply with all relevant New Zealand legislation, including the regulations that implement U.N. sanctions. 

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III.  Foreign Aid Appropriations Process

In 2002, when the New Zealand government decided to establish NZAID as an autonomous agency, it also determined that there should be a separate appropriation (“Vote”) for New Zealand ODA.[89]  The current government decided to maintain this arrangement when it moved responsibility for the aid program back into MFAT in 2009, stating that

[a] separate Vote provides transparency and accountability around the funding, objectives and outcomes of New Zealand’s ODA programme and the performance measures and standards for delivery of the programme. These would be explicit in the context of the range of outcomes that MFAT as a whole seeks.[90]

The New Zealand government budget process involves advice and submissions by executive agencies to Ministers and Cabinet.  Following review of these submissions and proposals, the Cabinet makes final budget decisions in line with the government’s budget strategy.  The government’s Budget Policy Statement is tabled in Parliament in May and this is considered by a parliamentary committee.  Once the committee has reported, by July 31 the government must introduce an Appropriation (Estimates) Bill and other Budget documents required by the Public Finance Act 1989.[91]  Passage of the Bill must be completed within three months of the delivery of the Budget.  Any changes to appropriations after the passage of the Bill are included in an Appropriation (Supplementary Estimates) Bill that must be passed by the end of the financial year.[92]

The New Zealand ODA budget includes funding for multilateral and bilateral aid activities, including membership dues for international organizations.[93]  As noted above, other agencies may receive ODA-related funding as part of their own appropriations, particularly the New Zealand Police and New Zealand Defence Force.

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IV.  Other Types of ‘Aid’

A.  Scholarships

The New Zealand aid program includes the provision of scholarships “to citizens of some developing countries to undertake vocational training or tertiary level study in their home country, in New Zealand or in the Pacific region.”[94]  The scholarships offered are currently under review, although there is a commitment to continuing the approach.  The following scholarships are listed as being available as of August 2011:

  • New Zealand Pacific Scholarships, which are open to candidates from a number of Pacific Island countries to support both undergraduate and graduate study;[95]
  • New Zealand Development Scholarships, which “provide the opportunity for individuals from targeted developing countries to undertake studies at tertiary education institutions in New Zealand” with the purpose of applying knowledge and skills in particular subject areas to assist development in their home country;[96]
  • New Zealand ASEAN Scholar Awards, which are open to postgraduate applicants from Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Laos, Burma/Myanmar, and Vietnam to undertake development-related studies in New Zealand.[97]
  • Commonwealth Scholarships, which “provide the opportunity for individuals from selected developing Commonwealth countries to undertake postgraduate study or research at one of the eight universities in New Zealand.”[98]
  • Short Term Training Awards, which are available for applicants from selected developing countries to undertake short-term vocational and/or skills courses in New Zealand for up to one year.[99]
  • New Zealand Regional Development Scholarships, which are open to eligible postgraduate students from the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu for “full-time, multiyear study at undergraduate or graduate level.”[100]

B.  Seasonal Guest Worker Program

Following the completion of a pilot program, in 2006 the New Zealand government announced the establishment of the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Policy, which commenced in 2007.[101]  This policy is aimed at facilitating “the temporary entry of additional workers from overseas to plant, maintain, harvest and pack crops in the horticulture and viticulture industries” in order to meet labor shortages.[102]  The program is targeted at the recruitment of nationals from specified Pacific countries, although employers can recruit workers from other countries in limited circumstances.[103] Under the policy, foreign workers may be granted “RSE limited visas” to work for approved employers in those industries for a defined period.  There is currently a limit of 8,000 RSE limited visas available per year.[104]

C.  Remittances

New Zealand undertakes a range of activities related to improving the remittance system, particularly between workers in New Zealand and their home countries in the Pacific region.[105]  This includes

  • A joint project with the Australian aid agency, AusAID, and a private development company to create the website.  This website provides information on providers and fees in relation to remittances from New Zealand and Australia to different countries with the aim of encouraging competition among providers and bringing down costs.[106]
  • The development of financial education material for Pacific households in New Zealand as part of the New Zealand-Pacific Remittance Project.[107]  This includes a project run by the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, in partnership with the New Zealand Aid Programme and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, to produce financial awareness calendars (MoneyPACIFIC Calendars) in different Pacific languages.[108]
  • A pilot training program that includes financial literacy for Pacific workers in New Zealand under the Recognised Seasonal Employer policy.[109]
  • Regulatory changes that allow financial institutions to offer a “two-card remittance facility.”  This means that banks and other financial institutions can provide a card that allows funds to be loaded by a New Zealand-based remitter, up to a particular limit each year, and a second card that can be used by a second person to access money in another country though ATM and point of sale transactions. This means that the normally stringent verification of the person receiving the funds is not necessary.[110]

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Prepared by Kelly Buchanan
Foreign Law Specialist
September 2011

[1] ODA by Donor, OECD.StatExtracts, (last visited Aug. 17, 2011) (select “New Zealand” in “Donor” box and “Net Disbursements” from “Flow type” box).

[2] New Zealand Government, The Estimates of Appropriations for the Government of New Zealand for the Year Ending 30 June 2012: Vote Official Development Assistance (May 2011), available at http://www.treasury.

[3] Development Aid Reaches an Historic High in 2010, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD-DAC),,3746,en_2649_34447_47515235_1_1_1_1,00.html (last visited Aug. 17, 2011).

[4] New Zealand Government, Information Supporting the Estimates of Appropriations for the Government of New Zealand for the Year Ending 30 June 2012, External Sector, Performance Information for Appropriations: Vote Official Development Assistance 137 (May 2011), available at 2011/ise/v4/ise11-v4-pia-offdev.pdf.

[5] Council for International Development, CID Annual Report 2009-10 at 1 (2010), available at  This was a reduction from the previous year when the NGOs received NZ$144.18 million (about US$119.5 million) from private contributions.  Council for International Development, CID Annual Report 11 (2009), available at reportweb.pdf

[6] Id. (2009-10 Annual Report) at 1-2.

[7] New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade Aid Programme [NZ Aid Programme], International Development Policy Statement (Mar. 2011), available at Policy_Statement_Supporting_Sustainable_Development.pdf.

[8] New Zealand Government, Cabinet Paper: New Zealand Agency for International Development: Mandate and Policy Settings (Apr. 2009), available at cabinet-papers-mandate-policy-cabpaper3.html; New Zealand Government, Cabinet Minute of Decision: CAB Min (09) 13/3C – New Zealand Agency for International Development: Mandate and Policy Settings (Paper Three) (Apr. 20, 2009), available at

[9] Id. at 3.  See also The Millennium Development Goals, NZ Aid Programme, what-we-do/international-targets.html (last visited Aug. 17, 2011).  Note that New Zealand’s relationship with Australia is an important component of the broader approach and policies relating to ODA.  In 2009, the two countries signed the Australia-New Zealand Partnership for Development Cooperation, which “sets out the shared vision and high-level objectives for cooperation.”  Australia: Overseas Development Assistance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade [MFAT], (last visited Aug. 18, 2011). 

[10] About the New Zealand Aid Programme, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 18, 2011).

[11] International Development Policy Statement, supra note 7, at 12.

[12] Id. at 4.

[13] Id.

[14] New Zealand Aid Programme Activities, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 17, 2011).  See also Where New Zealand’s Aid is Focused, NZ Aid Programme, http://www.aid (last visited Aug. 17, 2011).

[15] See MFAT, Statement of Intent 2011–2014 (April 2011), available at (last visited Aug. 17, 2011).

[16] Country and Regional Aid, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 17, 2011).

[17] New Zealand Aid Programme Activities, supra note 14.

[18] Id

[19] Multilateral Aid, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 17, 2011).  The top ten agencies are: United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Fund for Population Activities, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, World Food Programme, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, World Bank International Development Association, Asian Development Bank – Asia Development Fund, and OECD Development Assistance Committee.

[20] Humanitarian and Emergency Assistance, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 17, 2011).

[21] Under the State Sector Act 1988, the chief executive of each government department is responsible to the appropriate Minister for: “carrying out the functions and duties of the department (including those imposed by Act or by government policy); providing advice to Ministers; the good conduct of the department; and the efficient, effective and economical management of the activities of the department.”  State Sector Act 1988, State Services Commission, (last visited Aug. 17, 2011).

[22] International Development Policy Statement, supra note 7, at 5.

[23] Id.

[24] Id. at 10–12.

[25] Statement of Intent 2011–2014, supra note 15, Outcome 4, (last visited Aug. 17, 2011).

[26] See Core State Sector Legislation, State Services Commission, (last visited Aug. 25, 2011).

[27] For lists of current sanctions implemented in New Zealand, including links to the relevant regulations, see Recent United Nations Security Council Sanctions Implementation, MFAT,; United Nations Security Council Sanctions: Assets Freeze Measures, MFAT (last visited Aug. 17, 2011).

[28] About the New Zealand Aid Programme, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 18, 2011).

[29] See New Zealand Government, Cabinet Paper: New Zealand Agency for International Development: Institutional Arrangements (Apr. 2009), available at; New Zealand Government, Cabinet Minute of Decision: CAB Min (09) 13/3A – New Zealand Agency for International Development: Institutional Arrangements (Paper Two) (Apr. 20, 2009), available at

[30] Cabinet Paper: New Zealand Agency for International Development: Institutional Arrangements, supra note 29, ¶ 5.

[31] Cabinet Paper: New Zealand Agency for International Development: Mandate and Policy Settings, supra note 8, ¶ 1.

[32] Id. ¶ 2.

[33] Id. ¶ 10.

[34] New Zealand Government, Cabinet Paper: Pacific Island Forum Countries: NZ Policy on Aid, Trade and Economic Development Overview Paper (Apr. 2009), available at publications/corporate/cabinet-papers-pifc-nz-policy-cabpaper1.html

[35] See FAQ About New Zealand Police Overseas, New Zealand Police, service/overseas/faq.html (last visited Aug. 18, 2011), stating that “Most of the short-term deployments the New Zealand Police undertake are commissioned and funded by the Government’s international aid and development agency NZAID. The agency has a Pacific focus that is aligned with the Government’s responsibility to be a good neighbour.  Other long-term operations, such as Operation Tuiatuia in the Solomons are funded as part of the police budget.”  In addition, the Defence Act 1990 “allows the Armed Forces to be made available for the performance of public services and assistance to the civil power in time of emergency, either in New Zealand or elsewhere. The NZDF also undertakes or supports a range of tasks, including maritime resource protection, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and search and rescue, as part of a whole-of-government effort directed by civil authorities.” New Zealand Defence Force, Statement of Intent 2011-2014 at 7 (2011), available at pdf/public-docs/2011/soi/nzdf-soi-2011-14.pdf.

[36] New Zealand State Sector Development Partnerships Fund (SSDPF), NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 18, 2011).

[37] Statement of Intent 2011–2014, supra note 15, Outcome 4.

[38] International Development Policy Statement, supra note 7, at 10.

[39] Contracts, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 18, 2011). 

[40] See New Zealand government procurement website, (last visited Aug. 18, 2011).

[41] Contracting Guidelines, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 18, 2011).  For a list of awarded contracts, see Awarded Contracts, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 18, 2011).

[42] Id.

[43] Approved Contractor Scheme, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 18, 2011).

[44] Management Services Contracts (MSC), NZ Aid Programme, msc.html (last visited Aug. 18, 2011).

[45] Id.

[46] Press Release, ManufacturingNZ, International Aid Spend and Opportunities for NZ Suppliers (June 24, 2011),

[47] See Funding Opportunities, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 25, 2011).

[48] Asia Development Assistance Facility, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 25, 2011).  For eligibility requirements and criteria see NZAID (NZ Aid Programme), ADAF-PSD Guidelines (Feb. 2006), available at

[49] Latin America Development Assistance Facility, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 25, 2011). For eligibility requirements and criteria, see NZAID (NZ Aid Programme), LADAF-PSD Guidelines (Feb. 2006), available at

[50] South Africa Fund for Exchange (SAFE), NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 25, 2011).  For eligibility requirements and criteria, see NZ Aid Programme, South Africa Fund for Exchange (“SAFE”) (June 2010), available at

[51] Pacific Island Countries Participation Fund, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 25, 2011).

[52] International Development Research Fund, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 25, 2011).

[53] International Development Research Fund: Application Guidelines, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 25, 2011).

[54] Postgraduate Field Research Awards, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 25, 2011).

[55] MFAT comes under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsmen, a legislative branch agency that investigates complaints about government agencies, receives reports of serious wrongdoing under the Protected Disclosures Act, and undertakes investigations on its own initiative.  See What We Do, Office of the Ombudsmen, (last visited Aug. 25, 2011).  See also Ombudsmen Act 1975 sch 1, available at, which lists the agencies to which the Act applies.

[56] See, e.g., Performance Audits from 2008: Follow-up Report – New Zealand Agency for International Development: Management of Overseas Aid Programmes, Office of the Controller and Auditor-General, (last visited Aug. 25, 2011).

[57] Annual reports of government agencies are required by section 43 of the Public Finance Act 1989, available at  See also Performance Information for Appropriations: Vote Official Development Assistance, supra note 4, at 143, stating that “[t]he four appropriations are managed through 24 programmes (such as the Samoa programme, the Humanitarian & Disaster Response programme, or the multilateral agencies programme), each of which has a strategic framework that specifies appropriate objectives and development outcomes. Progress towards these programme objectives and the contribution of New Zealand’s ODA is monitored and rated annually, with results printed in the MFAT Annual Report. Each of the programmes consists of a number of ODA activities, of which there are around 700 in total.  Each of these activities has its own objectives and monitoring and evaluation arrangements. There are extensive reporting obligations for MFAT’s implementing partners and a requirement that MFAT regularly assess progress and quality of the activities it administers. Results, including from MFAT’s reviews and evaluations of activities, are reported in aggregate in the MFAT Annual Report.”

[58] International Development Policy Statement, supra note 7, at 13.

[59] Id. at 11.

[60] New Zealand Aid Programme Evaluation, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 18, 2011).

[61] Id.

[62] Id.

[63] Evaluation Policy Statement, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 18, 2011).  Links to the Evaluation Guidelines for different types of evaluations are available on the New Zealand Aid Programme Evaluation page, supra note 60.

[64] Members of the DAC Network on Development Evaluation, OECD-DAC,,3746,en_21571361_34047972_34518718_1_1_1_1,00.html (last visited Aug. 18, 2011).

[65] OECD Development Assistance Committee, DAC Peer Review: New Zealand (2005), available at

[66] International Development Policy Statement, supra note 7, at 10.

[67] Id.

[68] Id. at 11.

[69] The Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific (Aug. 2009), available at

[70] See generally, Pacific Island Forum Secretariat, (last visited Aug. 18, 2011).

[71] Id.

[72] Cairns Compact, supra note 69.

[73] Samoa-New Zealand Joint Commitment for Development (July 2011), available at http://www.aid.govt. nz/programmes/samoa-joint-commitment-development.pdf; see generally Samoa, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 18, 2011).

[74] Tonga-New Zealand Joint Commitment for Development (July 2011), available at http://www.aid.; see generally Tonga, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 18, 2011).

[75] New Zealand-Cook Islands Joint Commitment for Development (July 2011), available at; see generally Cook Islands, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 18, 2011). 

[78] See Incorporated Societies Act 1908, available at 1908/0212/latest/DLM175775.html.

[79] See generally, Setting Up a Development Sector Group or Project, Global Focus Aotearoa,!PracticeGuides!SettingUpADevelopmentSectorGroupOr
(last visited Aug. 24, 2011).

[80] Under the Charities Act 2005, charitable entities registered under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957, Companies Act 1993, or the Incorporated Societies Act 1908, must also register with the Charities Commission in order to “access certain tax benefits on the grounds of charitable purpose.”  Charities Commission, How the Charities Act Affects Charitable Trusts, Incorporated Societies and Companies (June 2009), available at  Under section 5 of the Charities Act 2005, “charitable purpose” includes “the relief of poverty, the advancement of education or religion, or any other matter beneficial to the community.”  In order to qualify for exemptions, the organizations aims must be “exclusively charitable” and no income or funds may be used “to benefit any of its members, trustees or associates.” Charitable Organisations, Inland Revenue Department (IRD), (last visited Aug 24, 2011).

[81] Charities Act 2005 s 42.

[82] Charitable Organisations, supra note 80.

[83] Compliance FAQs, Charities Commission, Default.aspx (last visited Aug 24, 2011).

[84] Tax credits for charitable or other public benefit gifts are governed by Income Tax Act 2007 ss LD1 to LD3, available at also Non-profit Organisations: Donee Organisations, IRD, (last visited Aug. 24, 2011); Individual Income Tax: Donations, Childcare and Housekeeper Tax Credits, IRD, /income-tax-individual/tax-credits/dch-taxcredits/iit-dch-taxcredits.html (last visited Aug. 24, 2011).  

[85] See Compliance FAQs, supra note 83.

[86] Donee Organisations, IRD, (last visited Aug. 24, 2011).  See also Income Tax Act 2007 s LD3(2)

[87] New Zealand Government Partnership with Non-Government Organisations, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 24, 2011).

[88] MFAT, Sustainable Development Fund Guidelines (July 2010), available at what-we-do/docs/sustainable-development-fund-guidelines-final-jul10.pdf; MFAT, Sustainable Development Fund: Grant Funding Arrangement (Apr. 2011), available at; MFAT, Humanitarian Response Fund Guidelines (July 2010), available at http://www.aid.govt. nz/what-we-do/docs/humanitarian-response-fund-guidelines-fina-jul10l.pdf.   

[89] Cabinet Paper: New Zealand Agency for International Development: Institutional Arrangements, supra note 29, at ¶ 35.

[90] Id.

[91] The Appropriation (2011/12 Estimates) Act 2011, available at http://www.legislation.govt. nz/act/public/2011/0055/latest/DLM3744702.html.  Schedule 1 of this Act includes the appropriations for Vote ODA for that year (note that funding for particular areas was also available for the current year as a result of multiyear appropriations passed in previous years).

[92] Budget Process, The Treasury, (last visited Aug. 24, 2011).

[93] See Vote Official Development Assistance estimates of appropriations 2011–12, supra note 2; Vote Official Development Assistance performance information for appropriations 2011–12, supra note 4.

[94] Scholarships, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 24, 2011).

[95] New Zealand Pacific Scholarships, NZ Aid Programme, pacific-scholars.html (last visited Aug. 24, 2011).

[96] New Zealand Development Scholarships, NZ Aid Programme, nzds/dev-scholars.html (last visited Aug. 24, 2011).

[97] New Zealand ASEAN Scholarships, NZ Aid Programme, asean-scholars.html (last visited Aug. 24, 2011).

[98] Commonwealth Scholarships Scheme, NZ Aid Programme, commonwealth-scholars.html (last visited Aug. 24, 2011).

[99] Short Term Training Awards, NZ Aid Programme, (last visited Aug. 24, 2011).

[100] New Zealand Regional Development Scholarships, NZ Aid Programme, scholarships/nzrds/nzrds-scholarships.html (last visited Aug. 24, 2011).

[101] Press Release, Hon. David Benson-Pope & Hon. David Cunliffe, Seasonal Work Scheme for Pacific Workers (Oct. 26, 2006),

[102] Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Policy, Department of Labour, http://www.dol.govt. nz/initiatives/strategy/rse/index.asp (last visited Aug. 12, 2011); Immigration New Zealand, Operational Manual WH1.1, (last visited Aug. 12, 2011).

[103] Requirements for an Agreement to Recruit, Immigration New Zealand, (last visited Sept. 13, 2011).

[104] Recognised Seasonal Employers, Immigration New Zealand, (last visited Sept. 13, 2011).

[105] See generally Australian Government & New Zealand Government, Trends in Remittance Fees and Charges (Oct. 2010), available at  This report was presented at the Pacific Islands Forum Ministers’ meeting in October 2010 and sets out figures and activities relating to remittances between New Zealand and Australia and Pacific Island countries. 

[106] Press Release, Hon. Georgina Te Heuheu, Faster and Cheaper Remittance to the Pacific (March 19, 2011),

[107] Trends in Remittance Fees and Charges, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, http://www.rbnz.govt. nz/research/4229796.html (last visited Aug. 25, 2011).

[108] See Pacific Calendar Receives International Interest, Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, (last visited Aug. 24, 2011).

[109] See Review of the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Worker Pilot Training Programme: Report Summary (Feb. 2011), NZ Aid Programme,

[110] Id.  See Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (Exemptions) Regulations 2011 reg 10, available at  See also Press Release, Hon. Helen Clark, Law Change Paves Way for Lower Remittance Costs (Sept. 28, 2008),

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Last Updated: 06/09/2015