Further to my earlier minute1 on this matter Al Page's report on his discussions with Ted Woodfield is attached.
The issue having been uncorked I believe it important that it be mentioned in you next contact with Harry Clark (10 a.m. Tuesday 17/8)2
- it is potentially more destructive than forest products.
You might wish to approach it along the following lines:
- recent indications are that New Zealand is not acknowledging a commitment to phase out incentives from 1985
- appreciate the value of not blocking off the option of complete removal before 1987
- but Minister has told Cabinet and Australian industry that the New Zealand Prime Minister agreed to phasing out from 1985
- we cannot retract from this
- can play it low key along lines:
- details of removal to be worked out after New Zealand review announced in Budget
- make reference to international pressures on New Zealand to remove incentives
- but need assurance that phasing from 1985 is the backmarker
- how do we go about getting assurance?
- should the Minister write to Mr Muldoon?
[NAA: A13131113, 82/2594, vi]