New Zealand

Introduction

The coalition government, elected in October 2017, announced it would reverse the decline in New Zealand’s official development assistance (ODA) and pay increased attention to the Pacific, climate change, governance, human rights and women’s political and economic empowerment, and to multilateral institutions. In May 2018, the government announced an increase in ODA to 0.28% of gross national income (GNI) over the period to 2021-22. In 2018, ODA increased by 25.6% in real terms. New Zealand will expand ODA to the Pacific region, respond to climate change, as well as to global emergencies and issues through multilateral and humanitarian agencies.

The 20-year horizon, whole-of-government Pacific Framework provides long-term direction to New Zealand’s priorities within the Pacific region. It is underpinned by principles of friendship, honesty, trust and respect, and is centred on mutual benefit and collective ambition about long-term, sustainable outcomes. It builds on New Zealand’s understanding of its place in the Pacific and the fact that its engagement in the region is non-discretionary; a safe and prosperous Pacific is considered integral to New Zealand’s long-term peace and prosperity. A mid-term review of New Zealand was undertaken in May 2018.

Official development assistance

In 2017, the majority of New Zealand’s ODA (82%) was provided bilaterally; 68% was programmed through partner countries and 27.6% was channelled to the least developed countries (LDCs). In addition, 48% of New Zealand’s bilateral sector-allocable aid targeted gender equality and women’s empowerment and 34% supported the environment.

In 2018, New Zealand provided USD 556 million in total ODA (preliminary data, current prices), using the new “grant-equivalent” methodology (see the methodological notes for further details) adopted by DAC members on their reporting of 2018 data as a more accurate way to count the donor effort in development loans. This represented 0.28% of GNI. Under the “cash-flow basis” methodology used in the past, 2018 net ODA was USD 556 million, which represented an increase of 25.6% in real terms from 2017, due to an increase in ODA announced for the 2018-22 budget cycle.

In 2017, in-donor refugee costs were USD 17 million, representing 3.9% of New Zealand’s total net ODA.

New Zealand’s share of untied bilateral ODA (excluding administrative costs and in-donor refugee costs) was 74.6% in 2017 (down from 78.5% in 2016), while the DAC country average was 82.1%. The grant element of total ODA was 100% in 2017.

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In 2017, 82% of gross ODA was provided bilaterally, of which 11% was channelled through multilateral organisations (multi-bi/non-core contributions). New Zealand allocated 18% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations. Learn more about multilateral development finance.

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In 2017, country programmable aid was 68% of New Zealand’s bilateral ODA, compared with the DAC country average of 48% (see the methodological notes for further details on country programmable aid). Project-type interventions accounted for 30% of this aid.

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In 2017, 39.2% of bilateral ODA was channelled through the public sector, down from 48.2% in 2016; 17.4% was channelled through university, college or other teaching institutions, research institutions or think tanks (14.9% in 2016); and 16.2% through private sector institutions (11.5% in 2016). See the methodological notes for further details on channels of delivery.

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In 2017, USD 54 million of gross bilateral ODA was channelled to and through civil society organisations (CSOs). Between 2016 and 2017, ODA channelled to and through CSOs increased as a share of bilateral aid (from 14% to 15%). Learn more about ODA allocations to and through CSOs and the Civil Society Days.

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In 2017, bilateral ODA was primarily focused on Oceania. USD 225 million was allocated to Oceania, USD 78.6 million to Asia and USD 47.5 million to Far East Asia. USD 14.4 million was allocated to sub-Saharan Africa.

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In 2017, 40.4% of gross bilateral ODA went to New Zealand’s top 10 recipients. Eight of its top 10 recipients are in the Pacific region, in line with its focus on its immediate neighbourhood. Support to fragile contexts reached USD 95 million in 2017 (25.8% of gross bilateral ODA). Learn more about support to fragile contexts.

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In 2017, 27.6% of New Zealand’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 102 million) was allocated to the LDCs, up from 25.4% in 2016. The DAC country average for 2017 was 23.5%. Least developed countries received the highest share of bilateral ODA in 2017 (27.6%), noting that 35.8% was unallocated by income group.

At 0.07% of GNI in 2017, total ODA to the LDCs (including imputed multilateral flows) was lower than the UN target of 0.15-0.20% of GNI.

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In 2017, 34.8% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 159 million) was allocated to social infrastructure and services, with a focus on support to education (USD 64.4 million) and government and civil society (USD 54.3 million). USD 43.4 million was allocated to energy. Humanitarian aid amounted to USD 33.6 million. New Zealand also committed USD 151 million (40.9% of bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries’ trade performance and integration into the world economy in 2017.

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USD 176 million of gross bilateral allocable ODA supported gender equality. In 2017, 48% of New Zealand’s bilateral sector-allocable aid had gender equality and women’s empowerment as a principal or significant objective (the same percentage as 2016), compared with the DAC country average of 36%. New Zealand’s aid to population, reproductive health, education and other social infrastructure focuses on gender. Learn more about ODA focused on gender equality and the DAC Network on Gender Equality.

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USD 126 million of bilateral ODA commitments supported the environment. In 2017, 34% of New Zealand’s gross bilateral allocable aid supported the environment and 14% (USD 53 million) focused on climate change, compared with the respective DAC country averages of 33% and 25%.

In 2017, 12% of bilateral allocable ODA focused on mitigation and 11% on adaptation. Learn more about climate-related development finance.

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Other financial flows

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Institutional set-up

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) is responsible for 95% 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. In 2017, a 20-year horizon Pacific Framework was developed to provide long-term direction to New Zealand’s ambition and priorities within the Pacific region.

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Evaluation system

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (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.

Performance against the commitments for effective development co-operation

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

Additional resources

2018 DAC Mid-term Review of New Zealand: http://www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews/DAC-mid-term-NewZealand.pdf

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/aid-and-development

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand, Aid Programme Strategic Plan 2015-2019: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/assets/Aid-Prog-docs/ASEAN/New-Zealand-Aid-Programme-Strategic-Plan-2015-19.pdf

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

New Zealand