New Zealand

New Zealand has a primary focus on small island developing states (SIDS) in the Pacific region. It seeks to support the social, environmental, economic, and stability and governance pillars of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In 2018, three-quarters of official development assistance (ODA) was provided bilaterally and delivered primarily through the public sector in partner countries. Support to multilateral and regional organisations enables New Zealand to reach beyond the Pacific and Southeast Asia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is responsible for the majority of ODA.

An OECD-DAC mid-term review of New Zealand’s development co-operation praised its solutions-based, whole-of-government approach to sustainable development in the Pacific, as well as its efforts to progress policy coherence for sustainable development. It encouraged New Zealand to clarify how its development co-operation will be inclusive, equitable and leave no one behind, and it noted the need for a more transparent approach to its development co-operation. The next OECD-DAC peer review is due to take place in 2020-21. Learn more about the 2018 OECD-DAC mid-term review of New Zealand.

New Zealand aims for “a more peaceful world, in which all people live in dignity and safety, all countries can prosper and our shared environment is protected”. In its policy for International Cooperation for Effective Sustainable Development, approved in November 2019, New Zealand progresses the social, environmental, economic, and stability and governance pillars of sustainable development. New Zealand focuses on countries most in need, particularly SIDS in the Pacific and least developed countries (LDCs) in Southeast Asia. Beyond this, it achieves global reach through the multilateral system and regional programmes.

New Zealand provided more ODA in 2019 than in the previous year. Total ODA on a grant-equivalent basis stood at USD 559 million (preliminary data), representing 0.28% of New Zealand’s gross national income (GNI) in 2019.1 The increase of 3.4% in real terms from 2018 was due to an increase in its multilateral aid, especially to regional development banks and funds. New Zealand ranked 14th among DAC member countries in relation to its ODA/GNI ratio in 2019. In May 2018, the government announced that ODA would increase to 0.28% of gross national income (GNI) over the period to 2021-22. It reached this level in 2019. Total ODA on a grant-equivalent basis has the same value as net ODA under the cash-flow methodology used in the past, as New Zealand provides only grants.2

Most of New Zealand’s ODA is delivered bilaterally, through the public sector in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. ODA through civil society organisations (CSOs) increased in 2018. Investments in gender and environment were just above the DAC average, while investments in climate change were slightly below the DAC average, focusing more on adaptation than on mitigation. See the methodological notes for details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied.

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In 2018, New Zealand provided most of its ODA bilaterally. Gross bilateral ODA was 83% of total ODA, of which 14% was channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions). Core contributions to multilateral organisations were 17% of total ODA.

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In 2018, New Zealand increased its total support (core and earmarked contributions) to multilateral organisations. It provided USD 157 million of gross ODA to the multilateral system, an increase of 31.5% in real terms from 2017. Of this, USD 93 million was core multilateral ODA and the rest was earmarked for a specific country, region, theme or purpose. Project aid earmarked for a specific project or purpose (tight earmarking) accounted for 33% of New Zealand’s non-core contributions, while the remaining 67% was softly earmarked (to pooled funds and specific-purpose programmes and funds).

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In 2018, New Zealand’s total contribution to multilateral organisations was mainly allocated to the United Nations (UN), the World Bank Group and regional development banks. These contributions together accounted for more than 68% of New Zealand’s total support to the multilateral system. The UN system received 43%, mainly through core contributions. Out of a total gross volume of USD 68 million to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of New Zealand’s support (core and earmarked contributions) were: the United Nations Development Programme (USD 13 million), the United Nations Children’s Fund (USD 8 million) and the United Nations Population Fund (USD 6 million).

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Note: See the list of UN acronyms.

See the section on “Geographic and thematic focus of ODA” for the geographical and thematic breakdown of bilateral allocations earmarked through the multilateral development system. Learn more about multilateral development finance.

In 2018, New Zealand increased its bilateral spending compared to the previous year. It provided USD 463 million of gross bilateral ODA (including earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations), which represented an increase of 26.8% in real terms from 2017.

In 2018, country programmable aid was 75% of New Zealand’s gross bilateral ODA, compared to a DAC country average of 49%. In-donor refugee costs were USD 17 million in 2018, a decrease of 1.1% in real terms over 2017, and represented 3% of New Zealand’s total net ODA.

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Note: NGO: non-governmental organisation.

In 2018, New Zealand channelled its bilateral ODA mainly through the public sector and multilateral organisations, as earmarked funding. In addition, New Zealand spent 15% of bilateral ODA on scholarships for students from developing countries.

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Note: NGO: non-governmental organisation; PPP: public-private partnership.

In 2018, CSOs received USD 54 million of gross bilateral ODA. Of gross bilateral ODA, 2% was allocated to CSOs as core contributions and 9% was channelled through CSOs to implement projects initiated by New Zealand (earmarked funding). Between 2017 and 2018, core and earmarked contributions to CSOs decreased as a share of bilateral ODA, from 15% to 12%. Learn more about ODA allocations to and through CSOs and civil society engagement in development co-operation.

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In 2018, the majority of New Zealand’s bilateral ODA was focused on Oceania and Asia. USD 327 million was allocated to Oceania and USD 83 million to Asia, accounting respectively for 71% and 18% of gross bilateral ODA. Bilateral allocations to Oceania are increasing in line with the government’s Pacific reset policy. Oceania was also the main regional recipient of New Zealand’s earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, in line with New Zealand’s policy of championing the needs of SIDS, particularly Pacific countries. Eight per cent of gross bilateral ODA was unspecified by region in 2018.

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Bilateral ODA by recipient country

In 2018, 46% of gross bilateral ODA went to New Zealand’s top 10 recipients. Nine of its top 10 recipients are in the Pacific region, in line with New Zealand’s focus on its immediate neighbourhood and its policy priorities. The share of gross bilateral ODA that was not allocated by country was 33%, including expenditure for in-donor refugees and core contributions to CSOs.

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In 2018, the LDCs received 22.5% of New Zealand’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 104 million). This is in line with the DAC country average of 23.8%. New Zealand allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA (24%) to upper middle-income countries in 2018, noting that 33% was unallocated by income group. New Zealand allocated 44.7% of gross bilateral ODA to SIDS in 2018, equal to USD 207 million.

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Note: LDC: least developed country; LIC: low-income country; LMIC: lower middle-income country; UMIC: upper middle-income country; MADCTs: more advanced developing countries and territories.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 98 million of gross bilateral ODA in 2018 (21.3% of gross bilateral ODA). Extremely fragile contexts received 9.7% of this amount. Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

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Note: The chart represents only gross bilateral ODA that is allocated by country.

In 2018, the majority of bilateral ODA was allocated to three main sectors. Investments in social infrastructure and services accounted for 32% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 133 million), with a strong focus on support to education (USD 60 million), and government and civil society (USD 30 million). Investments in other macro sectors accounted for 27% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 115 million), and ODA for economic infrastructure and services totalled USD 90 million (21%), with a focus on energy (USD 36 million). Bilateral humanitarian aid amounted to USD 45 million (11% of bilateral ODA). Similarly, earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused on economic infrastructure and services and social infrastructure and services in 2018.

In 2018, New Zealand committed USD 125.1 million (37.6% of bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries’ trade performance and integration into the world economy.

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In 2018, New Zealand committed 49% of its bilateral allocable aid to gender equality and women’s empowerment as either a principal or significant objective (up from 48% in 2017),3 compared with the DAC country average of 42%. This is equal to USD 164 million of bilateral ODA commitments in support of gender equality. Out of this, the share of bilateral allocable aid committed to gender equality and women’s empowerment as a principal objective was 2%, compared with the DAC country average of 4%. A significantly higher share of interventions on social infrastructure and services addresses gender equality than those on economic infrastructure. New Zealand screens all activities against the gender marker. Learn more about ODA focused on gender equality and the DAC Network on Gender Equality.

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In 2018, New Zealand committed 35% of its bilateral allocable aid (USD 117 million) in support of the environment as either a principal or significant objective, up from 34% in 2017 (the DAC country average was 33%). Three per cent focused on environmental issues as a principal objective, compared with the DAC country average of 11%. Twenty-three per cent (USD 75 million) focused on climate change as either a principal or significant objective, up from 14% in 2017 (the DAC country average was 26%). New Zealand has a greater focus on adaptation (22% in 2018) than on mitigation (11%). Learn more about climate-related development finance.

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Data analysis for the OECD initiative Sustainable Oceans for All shows that New Zealand committed USD 22 million in support of the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean in 2018, amounting to 6.5% of bilateral allocable aid. Learn more about ODA focused on the ocean economy.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) is responsible for 96% of New Zealand’s ODA, with the remainder delivered by other government ministries and agencies. The ministry’s Pacific and Development Group, which was created in July 2016, comprises a Pacific Branch which leads an integrated approach to New Zealand’s diplomatic and development engagement with Pacific countries.

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MFAT’s Evaluation Policy sets the core requirements for conducting evaluations. The Evaluation and Research Team under MFAT is independent from policy and programming. The evaluation team is responsible for managing and delivering strategic (sectoral, thematic, programme, policy and practice) evaluations. It is also responsible for implementing the Evaluation Policy and provides advice and support for activity evaluations. Evaluations of activities are mandatory for programmes or projects exceeding NZD 10 million. Learn more about evaluation in New Zealand.

Visit the DAC Evaluation Resource Centre website for evaluations of New Zealand’s development co-operation.

Explore the Monitoring Dashboard of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation.

New Zealand’s Policy Statement for International Cooperation for Effective Sustainable Development: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/assets/Aid-Prog-docs/Policy/Policy-Statement-New-Zealands-International-Cooperation-for-Effective-Sustainable-Development-ICESD.pdf

2018 OECD-DAC mid-term review of New Zealand: www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews/DAC-mid-term-NewZealand.pdf

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT): https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/aid-and-development

Member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) since 1973.

The methodological notes provide further details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied, including the grant-equivalent methodology, core and earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, country programmable aid, channels of delivery, bilateral ODA unspecified/unallocated, bilateral allocable aid, the gender equality policy marker, and the environment markers.

← 1. DAC members adopted the grant-equivalent methodology starting from their reporting of 2018 data as a more accurate way to count the provider’s effort in development loans. See the methodological notes for further details.

← 2. All 2019 statistics in this paragraph are expressed in current prices and, therefore, they may differ from values in the ODA volume chart, which uses constant prices.

← 3. The use of the recommended minimum criteria for the marker by some members in recent years can result in lower levels of aid reported as being focused on gender equality.

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https://doi.org/10.1787/2dcf1367-en

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