Australia - New Zealand Closer Economic Relations (ANZCER): State Government Purchasing
New Zealand officials have made it clear in the discussions on ANZCER that they attached particular importance to Government purchasing policies in Australia in assessing any final negotiated package. New Zealand officials have been advised that in regard to purchasing by Commonwealth Departments and authorities, it would seem possible to extend the preference to Australian-made goods policy to New Zealand products, providing that New Zealand would reciprocate.
New Zealand, however, is seeking more than that. It is seeking (again, on a reciprocal basis) for its industry to be treated by each Australian State in the same manner as industry domiciled in that State.
Commonwealth officials have raised the matter with the States. However, it has been made clear to the New Zealand side that under the Australian Constitution it is ultimately a matter for the States to make their own decisions in this area.
The attached telex to the Premiers and the Chief Minister gives general background to the present position on ANZCER, refers to the request from New Zealand for discussions on State Government purchasing policies, outlines the nature of what New Zealand is wanting, and seeks their reaction to this request. We seek your approval to despatch the telexes.2
[NAA: A1209, 19811508, ii]