Mr Garland, Australian Minister for Special Trade Representations, will be in New Zealand as a Guest of Government from 15-21 September. He is to call on you at 9.00am on Tuesday, 18 September. A programme setting out Mr Garland's itinerary while in New Zealand is attached.
- The purpose of Mr Garland's visit is to give him an opportunity to learn something about New Zealand and New Zealanders, to familiarise him with the medium to longer term prospects for the economy and to allow him to meet a wide range of people in the Government and private sector who are involved in the trans-Tasman relationship.
- It is not our intention to open negotiations or pursue with Mr Garland or his accompanying officials the question of closer economic relations with Australia. The studies of the various options which are under way in Canberra and Wellington are still at an early stage and are not sufficiently advanced to permit substantive discussions at this point. You will recall that the agreed timetable announced by Mr Muldoon and Mr Fraser at Lusaka provides for a preparatory meeting of Permanent Heads from both sides (now scheduled for October 25 in Wellington) followed by a meeting of Prime Ministers and other Ministers no later than February 1980.
- Although it is too soon to engage in substantive discussions on the economic options, Mr Garland will no doubt be interested in learning what work is under way in New Zealand to prepare for these meetings. A list of the papers in preparation (taken from a recent progress report to the CEO) is attached:1 the topic headings at this stage should be regarded as being no more than broadly indicative of the scope of the studies. There will be further refinement as the work proceeds.
- From the viewpoint of this Ministry, one of our major concerns in assessing the implications of a new relationship with Australia, and perhaps the only concern that might be worth flagging with Mr Garland at this stage, will be to ensure that the political and economic interests of the island countries of the South Pacific, with which we have long-standing and special relationships, are not overlooked. We also need to bear in mind our ties with other countries in the wider region to which we belong-the ASEAN member states and the rapidly growing economies of North Asia. These points were made in your recent speech to Otaki Young Nationals on 2 September. This set out in broad terms the approach we are taking: any new economic relationship with Australia, if it is to conform with our wider interests and responsibilities, must be outward, not inward, looking. As you noted at the conclusion of that speech:
[ABHS 950/Boxes1221-1226, 40/411 Part 20 Archives New Zealandffe Whare Tohu Tuhituhinga 0 Aotearoa, Head Office, Wellington]