Cablegate: Your Visit and Expanding Us-Nz Cooperation
DE RUEHWL #0646/01 2420509
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 300509Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4645
INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 4939
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY 0674
RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA 0624
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 WELLINGTON 000646
STATE FOR EAP A/S HILL
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/29/2027
TAGS: PREL US NZ
SUBJECT: YOUR VISIT AND EXPANDING US-NZ COOPERATION
Classified By: Charge David J. Keegan, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (C) SUMMARY AND INTRODUCTION. Since your last visit to New
Zealand, we have seen an unprecedented improvement in
dialogue and cooperation between the United States and New
Zealand on a range of security and foreign policy objectives,
culminating in the successful visit of New Zealand PM Clark
to Washington in February 2007. The stage is set for
continued cooperation that will expand the range of issues on
which we cooperate and solidify the pattern of consultation
and joint planning. Opportunities include: defense; Pacific
Island affairs; border security and information sharing,
including on Trafficking in Persons; a TIFA work program to
clear away obstacles blocking an eventual FTA; democracy
initiatives; transformational diplomacy on dialogue with
Islamic religious leaders; and continuing cooperation in
science, especially in Antarctica. In addition, new
opportunities for cooperation lie in working with New Zealand
on UN reform and transparency, and encouraging NZ to
encourage political transformation in
ASEAN, particularly Burma.
2. (C) Although the coming year will see national elections
on both sides, we believe both sides are committed to
cooperation. Your meetings with NZ leaders will help propel
the agenda forward. END SUMMARY AND INTRODUCTION.
A YEAR OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS
3. (C) We have established a solid record of bilateral
cooperation and the basis for continued cooperation. Our two
militaries have discussed how to expand cooperation and
advance our shared security objectives in the South Pacific
and beyond. We cooperated closely in response to the coup in
Fiji. Foreign Minister Winston Peters has taken a very strong
public position in support of U.S. strategic objectives,
particularly in the Six Party Talks.
4. (C) On August 10, New Zealand's Ministry of Agriculture
and Forestry (MAF) found a mutually acceptable solution to
U.S. sovereignty requirements barring access by foreign
officials to U.S. official aircraft, while still meeting New
Zealand's bio-security requirements. MAF initially developed
this new procedure within a single day to accommodate the
unexpected arrival of a USAF C-17.
5. (C) The celebration of the International Polar Year was
marked in January, 2007 by Prime Minister Helen Clark leading
a delegation of New Zealand and U.S. senior officials,
including National Science Foundation President Dr. Arden
Bement, OES A/S Claudia McMurray, and EAP DAS Glyn Davies to
the Antarctic. The following month, Prime Minister Helen
Clark met the President, Secretary of State, Secretary of
Defense during her first visit to Washington in four years.
The year was bracketed by the PM's participation in the
Embassy's July 4 celebration in 2007 and in opening a
permanent exhibition in Wellington's Old Saint Paul's
Cathedral on Memorial Day, 2007 commemorating the valor of
the U.S. Marines of the Second Marine Division who encamped
in New Zealand to prepare for the campaign to retake the
Pacific Islands during World War II.
6. (C) Both governments committed to set to one side the
major issues, which had divided us - including access for US
Navy ships and the war in Iraq -- not forgetting them, but
choosing to focus on moving forward in a cooperative way. A
third irritant has been New Zealand's continued public
pleading for a Free Trade Agreement with the United States.
New Zealand leaders have made it clear that they will
moderate their public statements but remain committed to this
objective. New Zealand's interest in an FTA has provided a
significant impetus to continued dialogue and cooperation, in
this case in reducing trade barriers that might obstruct
eventual bilateral free trade arrangements.
HOW DO WE ADVANCE IN THE COMING YEAR?
7. (C) Your visit to Auckland to participate in the United
States New Zealand Partnership Forum September 10 will offer
the opportunity to meet with GNZ ministers and senior
officials to discuss key objectives for the coming year. The
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following is a selection of objectives which we have
developed in consultation with our colleagues at MFAT.
8. (C) "Working Holiday" Visas. Following an exchange of
drafts over the past two months, you are schedule to
participate in a ceremony to sign a bilateral arrangement.
Details of the signing are still being worked out.
9. (C) OSD and the NZ Defence Force have begun more specific
discussions on areas where improved NZDF capabilities could
advance shared objectives. NZ has made it clear that it is
eager to cooperate, but they are seeking to focus on
initiatives that are sustainable. Practically, this means
looking at NZDF unit deployments in the Pacific Islands, East
Timor, and Afghanistan. NZ understands US interest in future
SAS deployments to Afghanistan, but they have expressed
reluctance to make any commitments given their limited
10. (C) NZ knows that we are engaged in an internal effort to
clarify the ground rules about expanded contacts between the
two militaries. They are likely aware that this blocked
because of internal USG disagreement on how to handle NZDF
participation in NATO activities.
11. (C) In the meantime, we have found ways to engage with NZ
that continue improving our mil-mil relationship. Just this
month, a NZ medical team boarded the USS Pelelieu for a short
medical assistance deployment to several South Pacific
nations, including Solomon Islands. A NZ deployment of a
medical team had been disapproved just two years ago.
Additionally, two NZ junior naval officers were deployed
onboard USCG Cutter Walnut for an operational maritime patrol
of the South Pacific including Solomon Islands and Samoa.
Feedback from both vessels has been very positive.
-- South Pacific Regional Cooperation
12. (C) Cooperation on good governance, development and
security in the South Pacific incorporates a number of areas,
several of which proved to be major elements of our
cooperation over the past year. New Zealand leaders will be
eager to exchange views in a number of areas: Fiji
Democratization, expectations for the PIF and Partners
Dialogue, expanded maritime law enforcement cooperation,
including fisheries, illicit narcotics, alien smuggling,
firearms smuggling and violence in maritime navigation.
Finally, these specific discussions are naturally evolving
into a broader effort to coordinate support for governance,
development, and democracy across the South Pacific region.
-- Economic and Trade Issues
13. (C) The July 9 - 10 TIFA meeting between USTR and MFAT
concluded with agreement that the two sides would develop a
cooperative work plan to address specific trade issues,
including the possibility of expanding P-4 (NZ, Singapore,
Brunei, Chile) FTA as the basis for US-NZ free trade, and
resolving agricultural market access issues, including market
access for biotech.
-- Democracy, Governance, and "Counter-radicalization"
14. (C) The U.S. and NZ sides share a strongly rooted
commitment to democracy, human rights, and diversity. We are
currently seeking NZ's commitment and support in both the
Asia Democracy Partnership and the OECD Partnership for
Democratic Governance. New Zealand has been clear that it
endorses both efforts in concept and is prepared to support
as feasible. PM Clark has made inter-faith dialogue a central
part of New Zealand's efforts to counter radicalization by
helping to generate support for moderate Islamic leaders,
especially in Southeast Asia. She has personally identified
this as a strategy which will improve New Zealand's national
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15. (C) Discussions between DHS and NZ Immigration and
Customs have expanded over the past nine months, focusing
particularly on expanded intelligence sharing. Bilateral
discussions prior to the issuance of the most recent State
Department TIP report highlighted the impact of New Zealand's
ongoing policy revision on TIP and specifically its effort to
enhance cross-ministry cooperation and the involvement of
NGOs. If DHS Secretary Chertoff does visit in January 2008 en
route to the Antarctic that will offer an opportunity to
highlight this cooperation.
-- Science and Technology
16. (C) Throughout this year scientific and technical
cooperation will remain an enduring foundation of bilateral
cooperation, as it has over the past twenty years. PM Clark
has spoken enthusiastically on a number of occasions about
her visit to the ice this past January, and DHS Secretary
Chertoff has expressed interest in visiting Antarctica this
-- New Initiatives
17. (C) We believe there are a few significant additional
opportunities for expanded dialogue, which we will be
exploring in coming months.
-- Encouraging New Zealand to push for greater UN
Transparency. The Kiwis have always made the activities of
international organizations a central focus of its foreign
policy. Both the New Zealand and the United States share a
common commitment to seeing international organizations
operate with greater transparency. There may be reform and
transparency issues especially in the UN where New Zealand
may be able to exert leverage far beyond its size on issues
we care about, and NZ officials have tentatively expressed
interest in cooperating in this area.
-- Cooperation in Southeast Asia. The USG and NZ governments
have similar objectives regarding the promotion of within
ASEAN. Despite the lack of NZ diplomatic missions in some
ASEAN capitals, they might be willing to help push our
messages and consider deploying additional official visitors
to assist us with respect to pressing for stronger ASEAN
action on human rights, democracy and good governance,
particularly in Burma.
-- Disaster Preparation and other Intergovernmental Visits.
The New Zealand Embassy is interested in pursuing discussions
between relevant government agencies on as-yet untouched
issues - one example could be discussions with FEMA on
18. (C) Your visit offers us an opportunity to establish a
program that will build on the progress of the past year.
Clearly there will be limiting factors, including elections
in both countries. The New Zealand government is required to
call elections by the fall of 2008, but there are some
reports that it may move as early as the spring. NZ Foreign
Minister Winston Peters' visit in conjunction with the
opening of the UN General Assembly, and the second year of
the celebration of fifty years of NZ-US cooperation in
Antarctica, in January 2008, will offer opportunities to
consult about our progress as the year moves forward. I look
forward to seeing you in Auckland.