Skip to main content

Historical documents

67 Draft Tasman Declaration

Canberra, 26 February 1980



Reviewing many aspects of the economic and social relationship between Australia and New Zealand, Recognising that the long standing co-operation which already exists between the two countries provided a convincing demonstration of the existence of a special relationship, Considering the desirability of further enhancing the closeness and diversity of that relationship especially so far as the growth of trade and other economic links are concerned, and Agreeing on the advantages of providing a further focus and framework for the more rapid development of the relationship.

The two Prime Ministers DECLARED

  1. That a closer economic relationship between Australia and New Zealand, based on outward-looking principles and consistent with their overall national economic development policies, will lead to stronger economic growth prospects for both countries.
  2. Central to such a relationship is the recognition that the two countries have an obligation to the international community and to themselves to make the most efficient use of their natural resources and productive capacities. By developing the relationship along these lines both countries will have increased capacity to contribute fully to the growth of world trade and development, and to strengthen their own economies and those of neighbouring countries.
  3. The freest possible movement of people, goods and capital between Australia and New Zealand will contribute to these broad goals. One of the most important factors, therefore, that will lead to closer economic relationship between Australia and New Zealand is a gradual and progressive liberalisation of trade between the two countries. This should take due account of adjustment problems for industry in both countries, and be undertaken in the context of policies that will enhance relationships with third countries, particularly with the developing countries in the South East Asia and Pacific regions.
  4. Closer economic association is not limited to freer trade but extends to other economic links in fields such as labour, transport, tourism, raw materials, marketing, research and development, finance and investment. In future, therefore, discussions in such areas will take place in the light of the broader objective to further develop the special economic relationship between Australia and New Zealand.
  5. To reinforce the objectives stated above, the two Prime Ministers declare that relations between Australia and New Zealand will be conducted in conformity with the following principles:
    1. there should be the freest possible movement of people, goods and capital between the two countries consistent with an outward-looking approach to trade and economic policies;
    2. to the greatest extent possible both countries will treat citizens of the other no less favourably than if they were their own citizens;
    3. in all aspects of the economic relationship each of the two countries will take into account the interests of the other. In international trade and economic matters, each will consult the other partner, wherever practicable, before taking part in wider discussions;
    4. the existing close co-operation between the two countries over a wide range of subjects will be further developed through regular discussion and consultation.
  6. The two Prime Ministers agree that there exists already a sound foundation on which future closer trans-Tasman economic relations can continue to develop and expand. They recognise that within the community on both sides there is wide interest and enthusiasm in achieving as close an economic association as possible. They agree to keep under review all aspects of the relationship.
  7. The two Prime Ministers recognise the importance of the work being carried out to foster closer co-operation between Australia and New Zealand by such bodies as the Australia - New Zealand Foundations and the Australia - New Zealand Businessmen's Councils. To these activities must be added the growing cultural and scientific exchanges between the two countries and the increasing dialogue between industry organisations. The Prime Ministers are agreed that these activities have already contributed in a significant way towards the desired goal of a broader and deeper relationship between the two countries and expressed their determination to ensure that these activities will be continued and strengthened.

[NAA: Al838, 370/1119118, xv]

Last Updated: 4 June 2013
Back to top