Joint Statement of General Principles Agreed by Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc.) and National Farmers' Federation in Relation to the Closer Economic Relationship Between Australia and New Zealand
- Representatives of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc.) (FFNZ) and the National Farmers' Federation (NFF) meeting in Wellington on 8 and 9 December, 1980, discussed aspects of the closer economic relationship (CER) between Australia and New Zealand. The scope of the CER was agreed by the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand when they met in March 1980, and announced in a joint communique1 issued at that time.
- The meeting recalled discussions between their respective Presidents-Me. Allan Wright (FFNZ) and Mr. Don Eckersley in Canberra in November 1979, and those between representative teams from FFNZ and NFF also in Canberra in April 1980. These discussions canvassed broad aspects of trans-Tasman agricultural trade and trade generally in agricultural products.
- Emerging from these discussions was a general agreement between the two organisations.
- Within the context of the Australian and New Zealand Governments' expressed intention to establish a closer economic relationship, the farmer organisations agreed that trade in agricultural products should:
- be conducted within the general framework of the CER;
- take place under conditions of fair and equitable competition;
- recognise the advantages of trade being directed outwards to third countries.
- Both organisations noted the complementary nature of certain product sectors as a positive factor from which advantage may accrue.
- It was agreed that closer consultation between industry elements was an integral part of the CER. This was seen to have particular relevance in ensuring an understanding of problems by both parties in relation to some industry sectors; in looking toward and gaining maximum advantage from third country markets and assessing third country imports with a view to Australian or New Zealand substitution.
- With this background the FFNZ and the NFF agreed that detailed consideration of trade in the various product sectors was, and must remain, the prerogative of producer/commodity groups.
- The discussions underscored the need for a clear recognition of the role and position of marketing authorities in the consultative process. It was seen to be necessary to establish mechanisms for consultation within the CER where this did not already exist, and in cases where such consultation now occurs to formalise this within the CER framework.
- The FFNZ and NFF agreed that the results of this round of discussions would be circulated within their organisations without delay with a view to informing their respective Governments of the position if possible not later than Christmas 1980.
- In their considerations the FFNZ and NFF took note of the agreement reached recently by the Confederation of Australian Industry (CAI) and the New Zealand Manufacturers' Federation (NZMF)2 in relation to manufactured products, and agreed that it would be useful to follow the general pattern of these agreements in regard to agricultural products.
- The FFNZ and NFF considered and agreed to a joint position on the range of topics in the attached papers.
[NAA: A1313/111, 81/1440, ii]