Strings attached: New Zealand’s climate aid in the South Pacific
Commentary: Throughout New Zealand’s history, the nation has maintained a close and privileged relationship with its island neighbours in the South Pacific, exemplified by centuries of trade and migration. As the effects of climate change encroach on South Pacific nations such as the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, New Zealand has implemented an aid programme via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in order to mitigate the effects of the changing climate on these countries economically and socially. However, research depicts an aid programme that may do harm alongside good—by prioritising climate change mitigation over more sustainable and community-centred strategies, New Zealand has created a situation in which these countries become dependent on our solutions to their problems. By researching the controversial record of climate adaptation and mitigation strategies funded by developed nations across the South Pacific, it becomes evident that New Zealand’s programme of climate aid in the region is neocolonial and unsustainable.
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