NEW Zealand AID (NZAID) has suspended its “Women in Agriculture” scholarships for 25 recipients from the Timber and Forestry Training College (TFTC) because the college has not acquitted the previous funding.
Last week, NZAID announced that the scholarships, which are described as “a centrepiece of New Zealand development assistance to PNG,” had been suspended at TFTC.
In newspaper advertisements, NZAID advised the 25 women recipients that “we deeply regret
the inconvenience but the scholarship cannot proceed”.
Like any other development partner, NZAID said it required full reporting and acquittals for all funding it provided.
In a statement yesterday, New Zealand’s deputy high commissioner, Rebecca Lineham, said: “Unfortunately, the TFTC has not complied with those reporting requirements.”
This decision only affects the 25 recipients at TFTC and not any other institution, she said.
Ms Lineham said NZAID was proud that more than 2,200 women had benefitted from the Women in Agriculture scholarship.
Last year, 187 scholarships were provided for the University of Technology, the University of Natural Resources and Environment and TFTC.
The target awardees annually is 230 if applicants satisfactorily meet the requirements.
Despite TFTC being left out for this year, other institutions appear to be on target to meet the full quota.
Ms Lineham said New Zealand will be reviewing the scheme later this year in an effort to further improve the range and effectiveness of study on offer to meet PNG’s increasing agricultural needs.