News, Press Releases

Calls Go Unheard for Increased Aid in 2024 Budget

Posted on 06 June 2024

The Council for International Development Aotearoa New Zealand (CID) has released its analysis of the 2024 New Zealand Budget, emphasizing the urgent need for increased Official Development Assistance (ODA) to tackle global challenges and fulfil New Zealand's international development and humanitarian aid obligations.

While New Zealand’s ODA reached a record high of $1.4 billion in 2023, or 0.34% of Gross National Income (GNI), this figure remains significantly below the United Nations target of 0.7%. An increase in ODA is essential for global stability, supporting initiatives in human rights, climate change, democracy, and sustainable development.

"In these challenging times, it is tempting to turn inward and focus solely on domestic challenges," said CID Executive Director Peter Rudd at a select committee hearing at parliament in May. "However, as crises compound globally, the world looks to New Zealand to boldly live up to our international commitments. We have an important role to play both in the Pacific region and in the most urgent humanitarian crises around the world."

Given the escalating global crises, including severe food insecurity and ongoing conflicts such as Gaza and Ukraine, CID and member organisations have called for New Zealand to increase its ODA to 0.5% of GNI in the 2024 budget and develop a clear strategy to reach the 0.7% target by 2026. This call has not been met.

"While there is understandably increased pressure to address domestic cost-of-living issues, failing to deliver a firm commitment to ODA will only ultimately increase pressures on the New Zealand economy. Investing in increasing ODA expenditure is not only sound humanitarian policy but also good foreign policy and good economic policy. Addressing poverty is a significant factor in building resilience, maintaining independence, and improving security."

Analysis from the 2024 May budget announcement suggests that ODA faces a 35% reduction from 2023 levels over the triennium funding period, lowering New Zealand’s contribution to levels not seen in the past decade. Even at the ODA’s all-time high, New Zealand spends more on pothole repair than on international development and humanitarian aid.

Advocates from within this sector maintain that ODA investments are investments in the world we all want to live in. CID asserts that increasing ODA will help New Zealand address global hunger, combat climate change, promote peace and security, and support those affected by conflict and displacement.

CID urges the New Zealand government to reconsider its budget choices to prioritize ODA investment and reaffirm the country’s standing as a responsible global citizen.

For more information, please refer to the full analysis here.


ODA Budget Analysis New Zealand