Our priorities

Our development efforts focus on areas where there's a match between opportunities for development in our partner countries and New Zealand's strengths. These are our investment and policy priorities.

On this page

Our investment priorities

We have 12 investment priorities. These priorities emphasise private-sector led growth that supports sustainable development. They focus on improving well-being and reducing poverty, hardship and vulnerability through access to economic opportunities and high-quality public services. Our priorities also support resilience to climate change, natural disasters and external economic events.

New Zealand's expertise and ability to deliver strong development outcomes in agriculture and renewable energy make these our two flagship priorities. We promote coordination among donors in the Pacific to maximise the impact of aid in these areas and engage in regional and international development policy.

Solar panels on Pukapuka Solar energy, Pukapuka, Cook Islands.
Solar panels on Pukapuka Solar energy, Pukapuka, Cook Islands
  • Renewable energy - expand access to affordable, reliable and clean energy
  • Agriculture - increase economic and food security benefits from agriculture
  • Information Communications Technology (ICT) - expand ICT connectivity, access and use in the Pacific
  • Fisheries - increase economic and food security benefits from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in the Pacific
  • Tourism - increase economic benefits from tourism in the Pacific
  • Trade and labour mobility - increase economic benefits from trade and labour mobility in the Pacific
  • Economic governance - strengthen economic governance in the Pacific
  • Law and justice - strengthen law and justice systems in the Pacific
  • Health - improve the health of people in the Pacific
  • Education - improve knowledge, skills and basic education
  • Resilience  - strengthen resilience
  • Humanitarian - respond to humanitarian emergencies

In the Pacific we invest across all 12 investment priorities, focusing our support in areas that are aligned to each country’s development priorities and deliver significant impact.

Beyond the Pacific we target our investment within four of the 12 priorities – agriculture, renewable energy, education and resilience. We also play our part in large scale humanitarian emergencies.

Read more about our investment priorities in our Strategic Plan.

Specialising for stronger results

We intend to specialise in a smaller range of initiatives within our investment priorities but strengthen the value of our aid by “doing what we do well”.

We will draw on development approaches that work well in one country when dealing with similar issues in others, and develop approaches that can be more quickly deployed. In pursuing more specialisation and replication, we will continue to tailor our aid to the priorities and contexts of partner countries.

Policy priorities

UN SIDS Conference opening ceremony, Samoa 2014.
UN SIDS Conference opening ceremony, Samoa 2014

New Zealand’s development effort involves leadership on policy issues alongside aid funding.

Our aid efforts are more likely to succeed if partner countries have effective policies in place. Therefore, engaging with partner governments on policy issues is an important part of our development work. We're a champion internationally for development issues affecting small island developing states. Domestically, we advocate for development-friendly New Zealand policy. For more on this see our policy statement on International Cooperation for Effective Sustainable Development.

We have six priorities for our policy work:

  • We advocate, at the global level, for policies that support sustainable development in small island developing states.
  • We engage with Pacific partners on economic and social policies that promote sustainable development and effective implementation.
  • We work with partners to improve donor coordination in the Pacific.
    We strengthen the development impact of New Zealand’s domestic and international policy positions.
  • We work with the Pacific to develop effective regional approaches to regional issues.
  • We negotiate and implement policy agreements that improve the ability of Pacific Island countries to trade in goods, services and labour.


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