Anti-poverty campaigner criticized New Zealand's aid contribution

Geldof said New Zealand's contribution, 0.27 percent of its gross national income, fell far short of the world average.

But Foreign Minister Winston Peters said that Geldof had his figures wrong, and that New Zealand's contribution was "much closer to 0.40 percent ... possibly higher than that."

Geldof, 54, first earned fame as a rocker with the Boomtown Rats, then as the organizer of 1985's Live Aid benefit concert aimed at fighting global hunger, according to the AP. 

He was in New Zealand to speak at a business leadership conference, and on Friday he met local members of the international Make Poverty History group - a coalition of 60 New Zealand organizations campaigning against poverty.

Geldof also signed a petition to be presented to Prime Minister Helen Clark that urges the government to cancel debt owed by poor states, to increase aid, to balance world trade and to end child poverty in New Zealand. It has been signed by 25,000 New Zealanders.

Council for International Development executive director Rae Julian said Geldof was right to call New Zealand's aid contribution a disgrace.

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