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Cablegate: Eap/Anp Director Mcgann's Meetings with Gnz:


DE RUEHWL #0732/01 2620126
P 190126Z SEP 06





E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/16/2016

Classified By: DCM David J. Keegan,
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Summary: During September 13 meetings in Wellington,
GNZ officials told EAP/ANP Director Steven McGann that PM
Clark and NZ Ministers support greater US-NZ cooperation.
McGann and his counterparts agreed that meetings over the
coming months between both sides' leaders and senior
officials will help keep things on track. The Kiwis said PM
Clark hopes to meet with the President on the margins of
November's APEC Summit and is considering a trip to
Washington next year. McGann and the officials reviewed ways
to move forward substantively on the notional matrix of areas
for cooperation that both sides have developed since July's
informal meeting in Bangkok. Emboffs will forward via e-mail
a matrix reflecting these discussions once it has been
reviewed with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)
officials. Our preliminary summary of agreed actions begins
below at paragraph 4. End Summary.

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Setting the Framework With DepDec McKinnon

2. (C) Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs John McKinnon
told EAP/ANP Director Steven McGann that PM Clark and NZ
Ministers have formally confirmed that they want to improve
both the content and tone of US-NZ bilateral relations. They
hope for a meeting "of some substance" between PM Clark and
the President at the APEC summit as well as a possible
Presidential visit to New Zealand after next year's APEC
meetings in Sydney. McKinnon said that since Embassy
Wellington's 2005 calls for renewed attention to the
relationship and especially after A/S Hill's March visit to
Wellington, GNZ has recognized the need to bring a greater
level of trust to the relationship that will enable us to
build on areas of common interest and more easily deal with
disagreements. New Zealand is looking to next year's
Antarctic anniversary celebrations as a good opportunity to
demonstrate our cooperation. They hope that last June's
Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) will pave the
way for increased economic cooperation even if NZ's desire
for a bilateral free trade agreement must remain unrealized
over the shorter term.

3. (C) McGann said that in addition to leaders' meetings,
senior working level visits are also crucial to articulate
support for the broadening relationship and create the
impetus for substantive leaders meetings. He said both sides
need to ensure our contacts are not defined by good meetings
in closed rooms and bad sound bites outside. McGann said he
was in Wellington to help begin to identify concrete
bilateral actions both sides can take to implement the draft
matrix they drew up after informal talks in Bangkok last
July. He pointed to his previous day's talks with GNZ about
ways to cooperate around the Pacific Island Forum (septel) as
a good example of the work that could be done. McKinnon said
he is conscious of the need to move the process forward at
all levels, and is willing to travel to Washington as needed.

The Matrix: Security and other Cooperation

4. (C) McGann reviewed the Bangkok draft matrix during a
session chaired by NZ Ambassador for Counterterrorism Dell
Higgie that included representatives from the Office of the
Prime Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT),
NZ Defence Force (NZDF), Ministry of Defence (MoD), Security
Intelligence Service (SIS), Maritime New Zealand, and Police.
The following is the U.S. side's understanding of matrix
issues discussed and next steps. Embassy Wellington will
work with MFAT to incorporate the agreed actions into an
updated matrix which we will aim to submit to Washington for
interagency clearance by September 22.

-- Detail of NZ Police official Don Allen to Joint
Interagency Task Force-West, U.S. Pacific Command: Allen is
already in Honolulu. Both sides will examine how they might
publicize Allen's assignment as an example of effective
bilateral cooperation. Next step: NZ Police to consider how
it might publicize the assignment.

-- Signing of MOU to exchange terrorist screening information
as part of HSPD-6: During July discussions in Washington,
State's Consular Affairs provided SIS and NZ Emboffs with an
initial response to technical issues raised by GNZ. SIS told
McGann that the draft MOU provided by the U.S. side is a
government-to-government agreement rather than a
service-to-service agreement contained in a similar
US-Australia arrangement. A government-to-government
agreement creates complications for the NZ side, both because
it raises privacy issues that an agreement between services
would not (SIS is the only GNZ agency exempt from the
country's privacy laws) and because a bi-government agreement
would require a more complex GNZ approval process. As it
works through MOU issues, GNZ ministries are also meeting
soon to determine which ministry will house the data gateway,
after which they will request allocations in next year's
budget to fund the project. The Kiwis told McGann that both
the MOU and bureaucratic issues can move in tandem,
which should make it possible to sign the agreement by
early next year if not by the
January 1 notional target date. GNZ also asked whether GNZ
would be able to get substantiating information about any
hits made after the gateway was in place. SIS said that
their understanding was that the Terrorist Screening Center
(TSC) would make a request for background information with
the originating USG agency, and that agency would consult
with its GNZ counterpart. McGann said US officials were
still working through whether this would be the case. Higgie
said that the agreement will not work for the GNZ side
without such exchanges.

Next Steps: U.S. to clarify if MOU must be
government-to-government, and whether USG agencies will
consult with NZ counterparts to provide substantiating
information if the Terrorist Screening Center confirms an NZ
hit in the system. NZ to identify a host ministry and budget
for the gateway, and identify needed procedures to approve
the agreement.

-- U.S. Expansion of "working holiday" exchange visas for NZ
and Australian Students from 4 to 12 months: Next steps: GNZ
will coordinate with Australia to provide ECA with needed
information in time for an announcement of the program's
expansion during the World Youth and Student Travel
Conference in Melbourne between October 10-15.

-- U.S. Expansion of exchange visa program for primary and
secondary school teachers: Next Steps: ECA to provide draft
letters of agreement to New Zealand and Australia.

-- NZ participation in DPRK "5 plus 5" framework on DPRK
issues. GNZ confirmed to McGann that Foreign Minister Peters
will attend the 5 plus 5 meeting on the margins of UNGA if it
goes forward. Next steps: MFAT to confirm other GNZ attendees.

-- NZ Joins the IMO "Alameda Group": Amb. Higgie and Russell
Kilvington of Maritime New Zealand said they thought GNZ
would be able to attend the Alameda Group Meeting in Kuala
Lumpur the week of September 18. (NB: MFAT has since
confirmed that NZ's Deputy High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur,
Felicity Bloor, and the NZ Defence Attache in K-L, Steve
Streefkerk, will attend the meeting.) They said that NZ had
not yet received the regional assistance matrix GNZ would
need to fill out before the meeting. Next Steps: U.S. side
to provide assistance matrix to Maritime New Zealand and

-- Staff Level Discussions on 50th Anniversary of U.S.-New
Zealand Antarctic Cooperation: At a follow-on meeting on
September 14 after Director McGann had left New Zealand
(reported septel), NZ officials told DCM and EAP/ANP Officer
Alisa Wong that GNZ tentatively agreed to talks in Washington
October 11-12. The NZ delegation will probably include Lou
Sanson, Head of Antarctic New Zealand; MoD's Huntley Wright;
MFAT's Trevor Hughes; and NZ Ambassador Roy Ferguson. Next
Steps: US and NZ to confirm Oct.11-12 Washington meeting.

-- Coordination prior to October 27-28 Pacific Island Forum's
Post-Forum Dialogue (PFD): McGann noted he had begun
discussions about US-NZ PFD coordination during a September
12 with MFAT's Pacific Division Director Heather Riddell
(septel). Deputy Director of MFAT America's Division,
Gabrielle Rush, said MFAT Deputy Director Alan Williams hopes

to travel to Washington shortly after the PFD. Next Steps:
USG and GNZ to continue to coordinate in lead up to PFD.
Both sides to exchange information after the PIF/PFD meetings
during Alan Williams' trip to Washington.

-- Enhanced information exchange on wider Asia/Pacific
strategic issues. Next Steps: Both sides agreed to try to
arrange senior officials' bilaterals on margins of
multilateral fora, including UNGA and possibly APEC

-- Increased informal consultations between U.S. and NZ
Embassies in the Asia Pacific Region: Next steps: US and NZ
to draft messages to their missions in the region asking them
to consult on transnational threats affecting the Pacific
Island Countries and other issues of mutual concern.

-- Informal, working-level consultations between NZ and U.S.
defense officials: Ian Hill, NZ's DCM in Washington, told
McGann that during during the recent trip to Washington of
Vice Chair of the Defence Force David Bamfield, Assistant
Secretary of Defense Peter Rodman had endorsed the idea of

informal US-NZ exchanges. As a first step, OSD Desk Officer
for New Zealand Liz Phu had asked NZ to provide her with a
matrix of current and planned NZDF activities. Wayne Higgins
and Group Captain Gore, NZDF, and MoD's Andrew Weirzbicki
told McGann that they had already provided a master list of
NZDF activities to Embassy Wellington DATT Martinez which can
be used as a basis for the matrix. They will also add to
this list planned equipment upgrades and major exercises.
Higgins said discussions about these activities could provide
a useful way to identify possible areas for cooperation. He
added that it would be helpful for New Zealand to know in
advance what kinds of joint excercises (including in support
of peacekeeping operations) were likely to cause difficulty
for DoD, rather than just discussing each exercise on a
case-by-case basis. McGann noted that any U.S. decisions on
this issue would be made by the Office of the Secretary of
Defense (OSD). Next Steps: NZDF and MoD to complete lists of
current and future activities and provide to OSD, with copies
to EAP/ANP Director McGann and Embassy Wellington. GNZ will
also provide a proposal for advance coordination between U.S.
and New Zealand officials regarding planned and projected
joint peacekeeping and stability operations.

-- Expanded bilateral engagement during "Quadrilateral"
(U.S., NZ, Australia, France) meetings: Next steps: MoD to
develop and provide to US side points they would want to see
discussed if NZ participates in next year's Quad meeting.

-- Expansion of existing relationships into a broader
counter-terrorism framework with Australia, Canada, and the
UK: The Kiwi side told McGann that NZ has robust bilateral
intelligence relationships with all four parties, and that it
would make sense to participate (as opposed to observe) in
5-i's assessment meetings. Ambassador Higgie said GNZ
believes the "ball is in the U.S. court" on this. Next
Steps: GNZ will provide its proposal on 5-i's participation
to Dan Coulter at the National Counter-terrorism Center.

-- Extended engagement between the U.S. and New Zealand on
Maritime Security, Maritime Law Enforcement, and Antarctic
Search and Rescue operations: McGann noted that during
meetings in Hawaii the previous week, he had discussed these
proposals with Admmiral Bryce O'Hara of the Coast Guard and
JIATF-W. OSD would need to issue separate waivers for each
of three proposals. Next Steps: OSD has invited the Coast
Guard to submit waivers for these three proposals.

-- Coordination of South Pacific/Southern Ocean air and
maritime patrols and information sharing: During the
discussions, the GNZ side realized that this request might
already be covered by the items on the Quadrilateral meeting
and informal mil-mil consultations. Next Step: GNZ to
reapproach USG after taking stock of how this would fit into
the proposals for Quadrilateral and informal military


5. (C) McGann and Higgie agreed that both sides will consider
a "Bangkok 2" meeting between both ministries to take stock
of progress. They said this should take place no later than

March 2007, but agreed that senior level meetings on the
margins of other multilateral meetings could also provide
opportunities to assess where things are headed as well as to
identify other possible areas of cooperation. The Pacific
Island Forum meetings in October will probably provide the
next opportunity for senior official discussions. Depending
on the agenda, GNZ may send officials to Nandi to meet with
A/S Hill and other USG counterparts.

© Scoop Media

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