New Zealand makes annual contributions, on an assessed dues basis, to the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Foundation. We also contribute voluntarily to a number of other Commonwealth organisations including the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation, Commonwealth of Learning (distance education), Commonwealth Youth Programme and Small States Office in New York.
In addition, through our Development Assistance programme, New Zealand funds development projects, and provides a number of scholarships and grants to assist students from across the Commonwealth membership.
The Commonwealth Secretariat (established in 1965) is the group’s main inter-governmental agency, facilitating consultation and cooperation among member governments and countries. It provides policy advice and organises Commonwealth summits, meetings of Ministers and consultative meetings. It also provides technical assistance to help governments’ social and economic development plans.
New Zealand’s assessed contribution for the 2011/12 year amounts to approximately NZ$ 862,205.
New Zealand makes its largest contribution (NZ$4.1 million in 2010/11) to the CFTC. It is our main channel of Commonwealth technical assistance to developing Commonwealth countries. The CFTC has pioneered technical cooperation among developing countries; the majority of its experts are drawn from developing countries and most of its training takes place in developing country institutions.
New Zealand regards the CFTC as one of the most effective Commonwealth agencies for achieving positive developmental outcomes at the community level. The CFTC is therefore a key component of New Zealand’s multilateral development effort.
The CFTC has procured the services of many New Zealand experts and consultants on a variety of technical assistance projects in Commonwealth developing countries. It has also funded training courses and workshops at New Zealand institutions.
The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) aims to extend and link distance education facilities in the Commonwealth. It also seeks to raise the standards of distance education by linking educational and vocational training institutions throughout the Commonwealth by concentrating on growth in distance education capacity in developing countries and by providing staff training programmes.
For the 20010/11 year, New Zealand will contribute NZ$800,000 to the Commonwealth of Learning (COL).