New Zealand has proposed that a meeting of Australian and New Zealand Ministers be held in Wellington from 11-13 May to consider unresolved issues and assess the prospects of agreement being reached this year on an acceptable basis for a closer economic relationship between the two countries.
As agreed by Cabinet, I would propose to lead the Australian delegation at the forthcoming meeting and believe it would be appropriate that I be accompanied by perhaps two other Ministers; I have in mind the Minister for Industry and Commerce, Sir Phillip Lynch and the Minister for Primary Industry, Mr Nixon. However, this is a matter which could be settled closer to the event.
I will of course be bringing a submission to Cabinet in advance of the Wellington meeting, setting out the unresolved issues and recommending the line of approach to be followed in the negotiations with New Zealand Ministers.
The dates suggested by New Zealand are acceptable to me and I seek your concurrence to the arrangements as proposed. I am sending copies of this letter to Sir Phillip Lynch and Mr Nixon for their information.
[NAA: A1209, 19811508, i]