77 Telegram from Ministry of Foreign Affairs to New Zealand High Commission in Canberra

Wellington, 29 November 1979

No 3771. CONFIDENTIAL

A/NZ Economic Relation[s]

  1. It is proposed that a delegation of eight officials led by chairman of the working party Graham Scott should be in Canberra for meeting 12/13 December. Membership of delegation and travel arrangements will be advised as soon as these have been worked out.
  2. Purpose of meeting as we see it will be to identify any differences that exist between Australia and New Zealand on the substance of the various elements that should be taken into account in preparing papers within the terms of reference of the study group. This will entail analysis of the respective Australian and NZ policies and existing provisions in relation to each element, the identification and possible quantifications of any differences that exist between the two positions and finally some commentary on the implications of the differences and the practicability of elimination/harmonisation. In addition to tariffs and quantitative restrictions, the following subjects will also need to be reviewed in varying depth.
    1. The administrative aspects of tariff policies-(a separate customs exercise in terms of paragraph III of the terms of reference).
    2. Exchange rates
    3. Export incentives
    4. Developmental grants and financing
    5. Bounties, subsidies and other similar support measures, other subjects which could come up in the course of discussion but which we would not expect to be reviewed in any detail at this stage are-
      1. special sectoral policies (for example, Australia's motor vehicle plan)
      2. standards (safety, health etc)
      3. Government (and State) involvements in marketing
      4. Governmental purchasing policies and procedures
      5. Energy policies (for example special tariffs)
      6. Taxation policies
      7. Consumer protection legislation and requirements
      8. Trading regulations (for example, hire purchase requirements).
  3. We are also conscious that there are a considerable number of non-tariff barriers existing on both sides of the Tasman, which are not covered in the listing of elements above. We envisage a discussion of the nature of such barriers as currently exist, though many of these (for example phytosanitary) will probably not need to be carried forward into further more detailed examination. As an aid to the exercise we suggest that the two customs administrations could prepare a listing of all import and export restrictions. This could usefully be done within the confines of broad categories of controls related to purpose.
  4. Please let us know whether Australia has any difficulty with this approach which is directed at providing a necessary framework to assist in the preparation of the report. We would, of course, be receptive to ideas for further subjects to be included. We hope that by the conclusion of the December meeting much of the factual information will have been identified and accepted and that a preliminary run through of possible implications could have been conducted to provide a basis for each side to prepare for a Permanent Heads meeting in early February.

[ABHS 950/Boxes1221-1226, 40/411 Part 22 Archives New Zealand/Te Whare Tohu Tuhituhinga 0 Aotearoa, Head Office, Wellington]