245 Submission to Cabinet Economic Committee

Wellington, 28 May 1982

E (82) 96. CONFIDENTIAL

ANCER:1 Release of Exposure Draft

  1. This paper asks the Committee to approve proposed procedures for the release of the CER Exposure Draft in New Zealand, assuming that there is agreement between the two governments to proceed with release following Australian Cabinet consideration of a final package at its meeting on 1 and 2 June.
  2. It was agreed during Mr Anthony's visit2 that there should be simultaneous release in New Zealand and Australia. Australian officials have indicated that they expect to proceed with public release when they have received the Minute containing the Australian Cabinet decision, probably on Friday, 4 June. Accordingly it is proposed that release should take place in New Zealand at 9 am on that day.
  3. It is proposed that the Exposure Draft should be released under cover of a Prime Ministerial Press Statement which would explain that the release of the material marks the conclusion of the second phase of the CER negotiations, the building out through negotiation of the broad guidelines contained in the Prime Ministerial communique of March 1980.3 The statement would invite public consideration of the Exposure Draft on the basis that the proposals it contains represent a total and balanced package agreed by the two Governments which could only be subject to limited amendment without endangering that balance. Within this limitation interested parties would be invited to propose amendments only in respect of inconsistencies or anomalies which from their experience would affect the practical operation of the CER.
  4. The statement would emphasise that the objective of CER commencing on 1 January 1983 remains uppermost in the Government's thinking. The statement would also detail the arrangements for a period of consultation which would conclude on Friday 30 July. Representations received after that date could not be taken into account by the Government. Ministers may wish to consider the timing for tabling any Parliamentary White Paper. Arrangements will be made for the signature of the draft Heads of Agreement by the Prime Ministers of the two countries.
  5. On the day of release, in order to supplement the information contained in the Press Statement and the Exposure Draft itself it is proposed that there should be a media seminar in the Beehive Theatrette at 11 am at which the Minister of Trade and Industry accompanied by Permanent Heads would give on-the-record explanations of the issues and technical matters covered by the Exposure Draft. Background information dealing with the history of the Australia/New Zealand economic relationship and providing simple guidance for public followup of the Exposure Draft would be prepared for handing out to the Press.
  6. A print run of 4,000 copies of the Exposure Draft has been ordered for 4 June. Of these 2,800 are already committed to the Manufacturers Federation which wishes to circulate its full membership. Copies will also be distributed to Members of Parliament, the Press gallery, other special interest umbrella organisations (eg Federated Farmers, Federation of Labour) and New Zealand's diplomatic missions. Further copies would be made available to members of the public and other interested groups (eg universities) upon application to the Department of Trade and Industry and/or from the Government Printer.
  7. During the consultation period, it is proposed that a task force approach should be adopted to deal with industry and public representations about CER. The lead Department would be the Department of Trade and Industry drawing, as necessary, upon Customs, Treasury, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and Ministry of Foreign Affairs for support. In addition to coordinating preparation of responses to written submissions arising from public assessment of the Exposure Draft the officials concerned would undertake, as a government initiative under the direction of the Minister of Trade and Industry, a programme of visits to centres outside Wellington where a presentation of CER and the Exposure Draft would be given to interested parties. Regional offices of the Department of Trade and Industry would make the necessary preparations. Similarly, for any seminars or meetings arranged by the Manufacturers Federation or other umbrella organisations this group of officials could be made available upon request.

Recommendation

  1. It is recommended that the Committee approve the arrangements proposed in this paper for the public release of the Exposure Draft and for the subsequent period of public consultation between 4 June and 30 July 1982.

[AALR 873, W4446/Boxes 312-313, 61/Aus/212/1 Part 3 Archives New Zealand/Te Whare Tohu Tuhituhinga 0 Aotearoa, Head Office, Wellington]