Saturday, January 01, 2005

Double it

With the international community stepping up to the plate over the asian tsunamis, the New Zealand government's contribution of NZ$5 million is looking increasingly miserly. A quick per-capita comparison tells the story: where Australia is giving US$2.63 per person, and Ireland US$3.46, New Zealand is only giving US$0.88 for each of us. Even the US is giving more per head than that!

Countries should give overseas aid in proportion to their ability to pay. And globally, we're a relatively rich nation; we're not as wealthy as the Scandanavians or the Americans, but well ahead of the global average. Last year's UN Human Development Report ranked us 24th in the world on GDP per capita, just slightly ahead of Spain. Yet Spain's contribution per capita is almost double ours.

In this case, New Zealand is clearly not pulling its weight in the international aid effort. It's time to start. Our government should double its base contribution to NZ$10 million, and stand ready to increase it further as the need arises.


Japan has upped their contribution to US$500 million. And Canada's contribution is CDN$44 million or US$35 million, not including the CDN$18 million from 3 of the provinces.

Posted by Robert McClelland : 1/02/2005 07:40:00 AM

Mundens here:
Countries should give overseas aid in proportion to their ability to pay.Ooo, advocating international communism now are we?

I was under the impression that the NZ government had promised to match dollar for dollar the contributions of New Zealand's citizens to the six main charitable organzation appeals (Red Cross, Caritas, Tear Fund, and three others.)

At least that was what One News announced a few days ago.

If it's true, that's actually a rather democratic way of doing it, the government is following the wishes of the people directly.

Posted by Anonymous : 1/03/2005 08:36:00 PM