New Zealand Aid Programme allocated funding

New Zealand Aid Programme transparency


  • Samoa has a population of 183,123 spread over two main islands, Upolu and Savai’i.
  • Samoa has a special relationship with New Zealand, underpinned by the Treaty of Friendship agreed by the two countries upon Samoa's independence from New Zealand in 1962.
  • A number of donors are active in Samoa including New Zealand, Australia, the European Union, Asian Development Bank, World Bank and China.
  • In 2010/11, development assistance and concessionary lending made up 37% of the national government budget.

Development challenges

  • Samoa is vulnerable to natural disasters, as was seen most recently with  the Pacific tsunami in September 2009. The loss of life, homes and businesses in the tsunami has had ongoing social and economic effects.
  • Samoa's economy is vulnerable to external shocks, and was affected by the global economic crisis. The economy has only recently started to recover from 2 years of negative growth over the 2008 and 2009 financial years.
  • Development assistance continues to be an important source of resources along side tourism and remittances.
  • Recently released data shows that the number of people living below the basic needs poverty line has increased in some areas recently due to economic conditions, up to levels of 26-28 percent in some locations.
  • Significant challenges remain in delivering effective services. For example only 25% of children aged 18-29 months are fully immunised and the prevalence of diabetes appears to be increasing.  In 2009 primary school retention rates hit a decade-low of 80.5% (though this figure slightly increased in 2010).
  • Samoa has achieved significant development progress, and ranks highest in the region in UNDP’s Human Development Index. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth averaged 4 percent per annum in the decade to 2007 and GDP per capita has increased by 50 percent since 1990.
  • Samoa ranks highly in the Pacific for government effectiveness, control of corruption and rule of law.
  • Good progress has been against a number of indicators including increased primary school enrolment and reduced infant mortality.

New Zealand Aid Programme activities

New Zealand’s development support for Samoa for 2011/12 will total approximately NZ$23m, made up of the NZ$17m bilateral allocation plus approximately NZ$6m delivered to Samoa via New Zealand's support for regional initiatives such as Volunteer Services Abroad and the work of Business Mentoring New Zealand.

New Zealand's development programme aims to help Samoa achieve the targets in its Strategy for the Development of Samoa 2008-2012

The New Zealand and Samoa governments have recently signed the Joint Commitment for Development (PDF 411KB) which establishes a shared vision for achieving long-term outcomes.


New Zealand is developing a major new programme of support to Samoa's tourism industry, which has strong potential for broad-based for growth. The aim is to increase revenue and employment through:

  • support for marketing
  • product development
  • training
  • infrastructure.

This builds on New Zealand's significant support to help the tourism industry recover following the 2009 Tsunami.

Private sector development

Sustainable economic development is being encouraged in Samoa through support for several programmes and organisations. These include the Pacific Business Mentors programme, the Private Sector Support Facility(PDF 440kb), Small Business Enterprise Centre, and Women in Business Development Incorporated.

These programmes aim to help the private sector to develop, increases expertise, and realise local and international business opportunities.

Renewable energy and agriculture

New Zealand is exploring how it can best help Samoa reduce its reliance on fossil fuels for electricity generation, through biofuels or other means, to increase energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Improving agricultural incomes is also an aim of New Zealand's planned support.

Opportunities include:

  • local production of biofuels (coconuts)
  • assistance for local food producers to supply the trourims industry
  • support for agricultural businesses through the Small Business Enterprise Centre.

Health care: delivering high quality services

New Zealand works with the  Samoa and Australia, the World Bank and United Nations to support the Samoan Ministry of Health and the National Health Service to provide quality health care. This support focuses on:

  • strengthening the regulatory functions of the Ministry of Health
  • health promotion
  • disease prevention
  • improving the quality of health service delivery.

The Counties Manukau District Health Board is also funded to provide life-saving medical treatment in New Zealand and in Samoa through the Medical Treatment and Visiting Medical Specialists schemes.

Education - improving outcomes

The Education Sector programme, co-funded by New Zealand, Samoa, Australia and the Asian Development Bank, focuses on improving access to quality education in Samoa through:

  • developing effective teachers
  • curriculum reform
  • improving adult literacy.

To ensure that all children have access to education even in times of hardship, New Zealand and Australia are contributing to a school grants programme, removing the need for schools to charge fees and increasing access to education especially among families most in need of help.

Human resource development

New Zealand supports a significant programme of tertiary scholarships and training to address skills shortages in Samoa. Awards are linked to Samoa's human resouce development priorities.

New Zealand's support includes 45 new awards for study in New Zealand each year, plus a small number of awards in Samoan and the region. Study awards are designed to deliver critical needs in fields such as:

  • tourism
  • engineering
  • financial management
  • medicine

A strong vocational element is delivered through the targeting of tertiary scholarships and providing on-the-job training opportunities.

Public Sector - strengthening service delivery

New Zealand and Australia support Samoa's Public Sector Improvement Facility which aims to improve public sector administration and enhance service delivery to communities. Examples include strengthening of the statistics, tax, and water supply systems.

Tsunami recovery and reconstruction

In the September 2009 Pacific tsunami,143 people lost their lives in Samoa and thousands of people were made homeless. In total New Zealand contributed NZ$12m, made up of NZ$2m for emergency relief, AU$5m jointly with Australia towards the Post-Tsunami Recovery Plan, and NZ$4m in targeted assistance for the rebuilding of Samoa's tourism industry.

Samoa has made strong progress in rebuilding the structures and srevices destroyed by the waves, including housing, water, power, roads and communications.  Central to the reconstruction was the concept of 'building back better', so that new structures will better withstand future natural disasters and meet building standards.