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McCully: Realistic Support Strengthens NZ Diplomacy

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
McCully: Realistic Support Strengthens NZ Diplomacy

28 May 2009 - Budget 2009 provides realistic support for New Zealand's overseas representation, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says.

"Trade and economic diplomacy has an important part to play in the Government's drive to improve New Zealand's growth and long-term prosperity.

"To this end, the Government has directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to increase our engagement in trade negotiations, and to ensure our overseas posts provide greater support to New Zealand exporters," Mr McCully says.

"Equally, our diplomats must continue to ensure New Zealand's interests are protected and enhanced throughout the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.

"Budget 2009 maintains core spending for Vote Foreign Affairs and Trade, and retains existing commitments to strengthen diplomatic resources.

"However, in keeping with the current economic climate, and as we committed before the election, we have reviewed the five-year $621 million funding package announced in last year's Budget, about a third of which was unfunded.

"As a result of that review, $9.5 million in the 2008/09 financial year, and $298.6 million over the next four years has been cut from that figure.

"That decision will be supplemented by a review of the ministry's network of overseas posts, with a view to gaining greater coordination and efficiencies among all the Government agencies that have staff working offshore," Mr McCully says.

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