• John Luxton
Commerce and Industry

Hon John Luxton, Minister of Commerce and Industry today signed the new Australia New Zealand Government Procurement Agreement (ANZGPA) which gives equal access to New Zealand companies to procurement markets with a combined annual value of over NZ$45 billion. The agreement was signed in Wellington today along with the Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand, His Excellency Geoff Miller. (5pm level 19 Bowen House)

``New Zealand firms interested in supplying products and services to Australian governments have been given renewed and strengthened assurances of equal access to procurement markets with a combined annual value of over NZ $45 billion. This will assist growth,'' Mr Luxton said today.

"The trans-Tasman government purchasing market covers a wide range of products and services for example, furniture, office supplies, fire engines, safety equipment, traffic systems and computer software packages.

"Essentially this new agreement means that New Zealand firms will be treated the same as Australian firms in being able to bid for Government contracts and vice versa. Australia is now a bit like another island of New Zealand and New Zealand an additional state of Australia. Clearly this agreement does not relate to the sports field!" the Minister said.

"Along with the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agrrangement (TTMRA) which we have agreed with Australia and passed through our Parliament recently, we are making very real progress in building on the gains for both countries under the CER agreement.

The TTMRA is based on the principle s that any good able to be sold legally in New Zealand could be sold legally in Australia and vice versa; and that any person registered to practise an occupation in New Zealand could practice and equivalent occupation in Australia, or vice versa. (Press release attached)

``And the ANZGPA facilitates trans-Tasman trade without conflicting with New Zealand's internationally open no-preference government purchasing policy. It is a significant reaffirmation of Closer Economic Relations in this important trade sector.

``The new Purchasing Agreement clarifies and reinforces the mutual commitment by Australian and New Zealand governments to avoid any form of discrimination, including the inter-state or trans-Tasman application of local preference, and to provide equal and transparent opportunity to compete on the basis of value for money'', said Mr Luxton.

``The Agreement also provides a framework for ongoing consultation between the parties on procurement policy and practice.

"The objective of a single ANZ government procurement market which maximises opportunities for competitive Australian and New Zealand suppliers and reduces costs of doing business for both government and industry has now been achieved. I would like to thank all those involved for their efforts," Mr Luxton concluded.