South Pacific Private Sector Aid

  • Simon Upton
Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Seven training and business grants to support private sector development in the Pacific Islands were announced today by Foreign Affairs Associate Minister Simon Upton.

The grants, totalling NZ$324,193, come under the Pacific Islands Investment & Development Scheme (PIIDS), part of New Zealand's Official Development Assistance (NZODA) programme. They cover private sector activities in four countries.

"PIIDS makes a valuable contribution to the development of a viable private sector in the South Pacific region through promoting more effective business and training links with the private sector in New Zealand," Mr Upton said.

"Given the real constraints facing public sector budgets across the region, the development of a vigorous private sector is necessary to obtain a sustainable increase in living standards in the Pacific," he said.

"PIIDS is an innovative, forward-looking use of our ODA funding, and provides an opportunity for the New Zealand private sector be involved in assisting our neighbours to meet their own developmental needs."

In the July bidding round, 22 proposals were submitted. Grants were allocated according to each proposal's development merit, commercial viability and the likely long-term economic and employment benefits for the recipient country. Proposals were assessed by a panel including development specialists, and New Zealand private sector representation.

Proposals for the next round of PIIDS grants should be sent to the Development Cooperation Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade by 27 February, 1999.

The seven projects cover activities in four South Pacific countries:

PIIDS Development: Advisory Mission

1 Kiribati: Video Production Assistance

Nick Murray (Wellington) will work with John Anderson and Linda Uan (Kiribati) to increase the productivity, and streamline the everyday technical operation of the Nei Tabera Ni Kai Video Resource Unit in Kiribati. The Nei Tabera Ni Kai facility is a private sector operation, specialising in the commercial production of videos with strong developmental content for the Kiribati market.

2 Fiji: Consumer Evaluation Training

Shane Walker of Hort+Research will provide technical advice to Rewa Co-op Dairy Products in Fiji that will enable them to establish procedures for the evaluation of consumer preferences for their products. PIIDS Development: Training Programme Fiji: Quality Management, Eggplant & Mango

Bioglobal Consultancy Ltd (Tauranga) will work with the major Fijian horticultural export groups and the Ministry of Agriculture to establish and implement a quality management programme for eggplant and mango. The programme will establish agreed industry standards which meet export market requirements, implement a quality management process covering all aspects of production, packing and shipping, and reflect the new standards in a series of posters that can be used as part of the producers' grading process.

PIIDS Investment: Equity Grant

Samoa: Banana & Taro Chip Plant

Mr Patel (Auckland) and an existing snackfood manufacturer, Tafaoata O Samoa, will expand their snackfood production capacity to support export of Banana and Taro Chips to near Pacific Island markets (such as American Samoa and Fiji), and the Polynesian community in New Zealand. The venture will create 14 new jobs in Samoa, the majority of which will be women.

2 Fiji: Waste Water Treatment Facility

Neptune Pacific Fiji Limited will be a new Joint Venture Company formed between Neptune Pacific Limited (Napier) and the Beachcomber Resort (Fiji). The company will develop a technically advanced waste water treatment plant for the Beachcomber Resort, which will treat waste water from at least 200-300 people from the outset. The new company will showcase the facility to interested parties as a possible solution to the challenges of waste management in the region.

3 Cook Islands: Fishing Venture

Brent Fisher (Rarotonga) will develop a joint venture company with Trevor Yorke (Hamilton) to establish a fishing venture in the Cook Islands. The venture will be the first significant locally-based fishing venture in the Cook Islands, and shall focus on offshore long-line fishing.

4 Cook Islands: Digital Television Facility

George Pitt (Rarotonga) and Ken Redmond of Kenzo Associates (Eastbourne) will form a joint venture company to produce video and film products in the Cook Islands. The venture will develop a production studio capable of servicing local and international markets, and have entered discussions with Film New Zealand in order to investigate the possibility of using the Cook Islands as a formal location for visiting film crews.

Background Note: The Pacific Islands Investment & Development Scheme (PIIDS)

The scheme has developed from a combination of the old Pacific Islands Industrial Development Scheme, and the South Pacific Development Assistance Facility (SPDAF). It is funded as part of the New Zealand Official Development Assistance (NZODA) programme.

Basic Objectives Of PIIDS

To encourage private sector development in Pacific Island Countries in partnership with the New Zealand private sector.

To encourage the development of employment and economic growth in the South Pacific based on Pacific Island economies' comparative advantages.

To encourage New Zealand private sector investment in the Pacific Islands.

To facilitate the transfer of knowledge from New Zealand to the South Pacific through the provision of training, marketing, technical, and managerial support.

How the Scheme Works

The scheme aims to meet the needs of the private sector directly. PIIDS has been designed to be flexible with a range of funding options available including training, feasibility, and equity assistance.

There are six separate grants available under the scheme. PIIDS Investment allows for the funding of up to 50% of the cost of a feasibility study to a maximum of $10,000 and may contribute up to $75,000 as an Equity Grant to the new venture on a dollar for dollar basis. PIIDS Development can provide grants of up to $25,000 to facilitate Training Needs Analyses, Training Programmes, Advisory Missions, and Personnel Attachments to New Zealand.

PIIDS proposals are assessed by a panel made up of Development Division staff and an independent private sector consultant during three competitive assessment rounds each year. Proposals are assessed on the basis of their developmental merit, and in the case of PIIDS Investment - their commercial viability.

The total 1998/99 PIIDS allocation is $1.5 million.