The New Zealand Aid Programme invests money, knowledge and skills to help deliver sustainable development and reduce poverty in developing countries. It also provides humanitarian support to save lives and relieve suffering resulting from natural disasters and conflict.

A larger, re-oriented New Zealand Aid Programme

The New Zealand Aid Programme delivers New Zealand’s official support for developing countries, with a particular focus on the Pacific Islands region.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Aid Programme will be increased and re-oriented, starting from 1 July 2018.

Read more: Speech by Winston Peters (external link)

The purpose of New Zealand’s aid is to develop shared prosperity and stability in the Pacific and beyond, drawing on the best of New Zealand’s knowledge and skills. We support sustainable development in developing countries to reduce poverty and contribute to a more secure, equitable and prosperous world.

MFAT staff in Wellington and at posts are responsible for managing the New Zealand Aid Programme, working with a wide range of partners.

Where we work: Pacific focus, global reach

Samoan fishermenSamoan fishermen heading out.

As a small donor country committed to development that works, we’re carefully targeting our efforts to where we can make a real difference.

The geographic focus for New Zealand’s aid is our Pacific neighbourhood. We invest close to 60% of our development funding within the Pacific region. We achieve global reach through targeted aid to developing countries where New Zealand has strategic interests. Beyond the Pacific, our aid focuses on initiatives in ASEAN countries. We also support development initiatives in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Our aid programme reaches more than 150 countries through partnerships with international aid organisations and multilateral agencies, including for humanitarian action in response to disasters and conflict.

How we work

We're committed to making our aid effective and to delivering value for investment of taxpayer funds.

International best practice and the global development agenda inform the way we work. The Sustainable Development Goals apply to all countries. New Zealand will contribute to achievement of the goals through a combination of domestic action, international leadership on global policy issues, and supporting countries through the New Zealand Aid Programme.

Find out more about New Zealand’s approach to the Sustainable Development Goals

The OECD and its Development Assistance Committee (DAC) provide guidance for its members to enhance quality and effectiveness of their aid programmes. The last DAC peer review of the New Zealand Aid Programme was completed in 2015 (external link).

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation and, in the Pacific, the Forum Compact (also known as the Cairns Compact) recognise the wide range of government and non-government contributors to development and set out principles for achieving effective development. The New Zealand Aid Programme was peer reviewed by the Forum Compact in 2015 [PDF, 2.2 MB].

Read more about the Global Partnership (external link)

Read more about the Forum (Cairns) Compact (external link)

Our approach

In managing the New Zealand Aid Programme:

  • we recognise that countries lead their own development – this means aligning our support to our partners’ priorities, and making good use of their systems for planning, implementation, financial management, monitoring and reporting
  • we focus on delivering measurable results – this includes taking a systematic approach to collecting quality data so we know what changes are occurring, and helping partners to do the same
  • we and our partners are clear about what we will each deliver
  • we take the lead from partner governments in coordinating our aid effectively with other donors
  • we work inclusively with partners to deliver our aid
  • we continue to make information on aid investments and forecast budgets more accessible.
Solomon Islands girls education
Solomon Islands education support has included a focus on more girls attending school.

The cross-cutting issues of environmental protection and climate change, gender equality and human rights are integrated into all New Zealand Aid Programme initiatives. This helps deliver sustainable, inclusive outcomes.

We deliver value for money by focusing our aid to have meaningful impact, and invest in initiatives only where the anticipated economic and social benefits exceed the costs.

See the tools that we use to help plan and manage aid programmes and activities