• John Luxton
Commerce and Industry

The passing of the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement through all stages in Parliament today was welcomed by the Minister of Commerce, Hon John Luxton.

The Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement is based on the principles 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 an equivalent occupation in Australia, or vice versa.

"The Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement is good for New Zealand and New Zealanders. It is an important principle as we develop the relationship between our two countries. It will significantly reduce impediments to trade between New Zealand and Australia," Mr Luxton said today.

Since CER was signed in 1983, total two-way trade between Australia and New Zealand in goods has grown by over 400% from NZ$2.36 billion in 1983 to NZ$9.46 billion in 1996. New Zealand exports to Australia has grown from NZ$1.04billion to NZ$4.2billion last year. Australia is our largest export market taking about 20% of our total export goods and around 22% of services exported.

"This agreement has the potential to be of great benefit to New Zealands hard working exporters and to New Zealanders working in Australia.

"It will reduce the paperwork required in gaining access to that market, provide greater choice for consumers on both sides of the Tasman, mean greater co-operation between New Zealand and Australian regulatory authorities and improve work opportunities.

"It will mean it will be easier for New Zealanders in various occupations to work in Australia and vice versa.

"The passing of this Bill extends the economic benefits which CER is already producing and reinforces the unique relationship between New Zealand and Australia. I look forward to continuing to progress this relationship.

The arrangement will not come into force until implementing legislation is passed in the Australian Commonwealth Parliaments. It is hoped that this will happen by the end of this year.

"This is a significant and welcome step forward for both our countries. I look forward to its final implementation," Mr Luxton concluded.