The government's ability to negotiate the best trade deals in the interests of all New Zealanders will be strengthened by a significant funding boost for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker has said.
"The message from the public is clear: there are higher priorities for spending taxpayer dollars, and MFAT shouldn't be using the aid budget to impress foreign politicians".
Winston Peters has proved why our diplomatic service loves him as their Foreign Minister.
The Taxpayers' Union will deliver the petition and messages to the office of Rt Hon Winston Peters next week.
Peters said an extra NZ$714 million ($498.94 million) will be set aside for aid over the next four years in the new Labour-led government's first budget, set to be announced on May 17.
"He said the funding was a "clear demonstration" to the worldwide community that New Zealand was serious in addressing global and regional challenges and helping people in need".
"It's about making sure we play our role".
"New Zealand needs to rebuild expertise and resourcing to respond to an increasingly turbulent global environment".
New Zealand and neighboring ally Australia have long enjoyed near unswayed influence in the Pacific, including acting as protectorates over Pacific nations such as Papua New Guinea. It will bolster our efforts to tackle priority issues like climate change in the region. "We are the Pacific", she said.
New Zealand's aid support for multilateral and humanitarian agencies had declined over the past nine years, and sat well below global averages.
Over 5,000 taxpayers have signed the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union's petition to end taxpayer funding for the Clinton Health Access Initiative, a subsidiary of the Clinton Foundation. "The funding announced today will reverse this decline and lift New Zealand's Official Development Assistance to 0.28% of gross national income over the next four years", said Mr Peters.
"What matters more to New Zealanders - more diplomats or more doctors?"