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Cablegate: Das Reed Engages On Tpp, U.N. Reform, Environmental


DE RUEHWL #0065/01 0500728
R 190728Z FEB 10



E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/19
SUBJECT: DAS Reed Engages on TPP, U.N. Reform, Environmental
Cooperation, Fiji, APEC and Bilateral Issues with New Zealand

CLASSIFIED BY: Robert Clarke, DCM, Department of State, US Embassy
Wellington; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (C) Summary. During a series of meetings hosted by the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) on February 19, EAP
Deputy Assistant (DAS) Secretary Frankie Reed engaged on a wide
range of topics including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the
United Nations, environmental cooperation, Fiji, APEC, and U.S./New
Zealand bilateral relations. New Zealand Chief Negotiator for the
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Mark Sinclair said New Zealand
views the TPP as a platform for future trade integration in the
Asia Pacific and recognizes there will a number of sensitive issues
on both sides during negotiations. MFAT United Nations, Human
Rights, and Commonwealth Division Director James Kember said New
Zealand will continue to push for UN reform and voiced
disappointment over U.S. handling of the Human Rights Report and
Trafficking in Persons Report for New Zealand. MFAT environment
officials welcomed more concrete cooperation with the United States
under the Energy Development in Island Nations (EDIN) umbrella and
expressed appreciation for U.S. support of the Global Alliance.
MFAT Pacific Division Director John Adank said New Zealand
relations with Fiji remain rocky and urged the United States and
others to continue pushing the Bainimarama regime to return to
democracy. On Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), MFAT
Asia Division Director Stephen Payton said that New Zealand is
reviewing its Bogor Goals and will work closely with the United
States to prepare the stage for a successful APEC meeting in 2011
in Hawaii. New Zealand is also open to allowing India to join
APEC. America's Division Director David Taylor emphasized New
Zealand's appreciation for USG efforts put forward on the review
of the military relationship and covered a wide-range of other
bilateral matters. End Summary.

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Trans-Pacific Partnership - Reaching for the "Gold Standard"

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2. (SBU) Regarding New Zealand domestic issues surrounding the
TPP, Chief Negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Mark
Sinclair emphasized that it has been a long-held objective of the
Government of New Zealand to conclude a free trade agreement (FTA)
with the United States, and there is a public perception that
getting into the United States will be an "el Dorado" for New
Zealand's commercial sector. However, the reality is quite
different, said Sinclair, since the United States is already quite
open to New Zealand trade and investment. He underscored that New
Zealand needs to manage expectations in this regard. In addition,
Sinclair said that although New Zealand has already negotiated many
free trade agreements, it is the first time New Zealand will
negotiate an agreement that will open so many political
sensitivities with a partner government. Sinclair noted that
Minister for Trade Tim Groser is well aware of this and quoted the
Minister as saying, "getting the United States to agree to engage
on the TPP is the easy part; the negotiating process itself will be
gut wrenching, especially achieving the gold standard."

3. (SBU) On multilateral issues, Sinclair emphasized that New
Zealand sees the TPP as a platform for future trade integration in
the Asia Pacific. If the eight initial members can reach the
"gold standard" on the TPP, it will "put the squeeze" on Japan,
Korea and others, which is when the "real payoff" will come in the
long term. He also stated that another challenge in negotiating is
that the current economic and commercial situation has put a great
deal of pressure on domestic agendas. Negotiators must therefore
be very cognizant of the impact on jobs, wages, and other such
factors. When asked what New Zealand's position is on including
new members, Sinclair put forth that "smaller is better" for the
current deal. However, he emphasized, that what is more important
is U.S. Congressional approval and if "critical mass" can be
achieved with the initial eight. New Zealand will take a
"constructive view" if the group needs to "bulk up" and include
Malaysia, for example.

4. (SBU) When asked what the top local impediments will be to

concluding an agreement, Sinclair noted a number of areas sensitive
to New Zealand. It is "no secret" that Monsanto does not like New
Zealand's genetically modified organism (GMO) regulations, Sinclair
said. Intellectual property rights (IPR) is another "sleeper
issue" that may raise concerns when it begins to impinge on New
Zealand's digital lifestyle. Sinclair added that foreign
investment is always open to populist views in New Zealand, and it
can be particularly sensitive when it comes to land acquisition or
New Zealand brands that are considered "icons." David Taylor added
that investment involving New Zealand's natural resources will also
be a sensitive point, particularly in light of the Government's
recent decision to open up some conservation areas to resource
extraction. According to Sinclair, pharmaceuticals are also bound
to be a contentious issue.

Multilateral Issues at the United Nations

--------------------------------------------- -------

5. (SBU) MFAT United Nations, Human Rights, and Commonwealth
Division Director James Kember touched on UN reform issues, as well
as the U.S. Human Rights Report and Trafficking in Persons Report.
On the United Nations, he noted that New Zealand has not signed
onto the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples because
there were still issues to be worked out in the domestic process.
(Note: New Zealand officials said they voted against the
Declaration because it was inconsistent with New Zealand's
constitutional and legal arrangements. End note.) He said that he
had met with former Prime Minister (and current UNDP Administrator)
Helen Clark the previous day, and she urged New Zealand to continue
pushing a U.N. reform agenda in the broader sense. Kember added
that New Zealand will continue down this path, but it has largely
been silent on Security Council reform. There is, however, a "red
line" for New Zealand on Security Council expansion -- it does not
want to see more members with veto power. New Zealand will also
seek another term on the Security Council and would appreciate the
United State's support of its candidacy. Kember assured that the
Government of New Zealand has put a great deal of thought into this
decision and believes that the move will help achieve the country's
regional security goals.

6. (SBU) Regarding the G20, Kember said that although there are
some that call into question whether it is a viable ongoing
institution, especially because it excludes the G77, New Zealand
continues to "have faith" in the G20. This is because New Zealand
has a mechanism for accessing the G20 through U.S. leadership.
Taylor added that New Zealand greatly appreciates the United States
seeking the views of others; however, it is concerned about others
being invited into the group. As the numbers creep up, New
Zealand is "not comfortable" if it does not also have a place at
the table. In response to the question of other U.N. institutions
that need reform, Kember said that the U.N. Economic and Social
Council (ECOSOC) and other regional institutions set within it have
become irrelevant and their time had "come and passed." On the
U.N. Human Rights Council, New Zealand appreciates close
collaboration with the United States and hopes to strengthen future
cooperation. In response to a question on Helen Clark's views on
United Nations Development Program's disaster relief portfolio,
Kember said she was laudatory of UNDP's work, and had said that in
Haiti UNDP did the best it could given the circumstances. He
added that Clark views the UNDP as an "influencer" not an
"implementer" and believed that the institution should focus on
strategizing and facilitating rather than getting into the "nitty
gritty stuff."

New Zealand Unhappy with Human Rights Report and the TIP Report

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7. (SBU) Regarding the U.S. Human Rights Report and the TIP
Report, Kember emphasized his disappointment with how the reports

on New Zealand were handled. He said that New Zealand provides a
great deal of information and input for the reports, and the
results were a "poor reflection of what New Zealand provided." He
added that the he appreciates the U.S. Embassy working closely with
MFAT on the reports and expressed his hope that a "more accurate
report will come out of it." DAS Reed responded that the U.S.
Government appreciates MFAT's assistance and pointed out that the
final report reflects a consensus that reaches beyond the Embassy
or any geographic bureau at the State Department.

Environmental Cooperation - Ready to Put Meat on the Bones

--------------------------------------------- ----------------------

8. (SBU) On environmental issues, MFAT Environment Division Deputy
Director Janet Lowe and Economic Division Officer Laura Hogg
briefed DAS Reed on U.S./New Zealand cooperation under the Energy
Development in Island Nations (EDIN) agreement and Global Alliance.
Lowe emphasized the importance that New Zealand attaches to
developing further projects that support island clean energy
projects. She said that Foreign Minister Murray McCully wants to
now "put meat on the bones" on the agreement that was reached
between New Zealand, Iceland and the United States in 2008, not
only because it will help island nations develop sustainable energy
sources but also because it is another area to strengthen ties with
the United States. The Minister is particularly focused on "the
concrete stuff." Currently 65% of New Zealand's energy comes from
renewable resources, and the country has a particular expertise on
geothermal energy. According to Lowe, New Zealand completed a
study on the feasibility of geothermal energy in 20 island nations.
Of the 20, the study concluded that five countries had potential.
Now New Zealand is studying how it can take this study to the next
level. Besides geothermal, New Zealand is also looking at ways to
help Tonga get a solar power station up and running. New Zealand
is also interested in doing research together with the United
States in Hawaii. Ambassador Huebner welcomed the opportunity for
MFAT and the Embassy to work more closely on such projects. On
the Global Alliance, Hogg said that New Zealand is very grateful
for ongoing U.S. support. She underscored that the emphasis of
the Global Alliance is twofold: address food scarcity and reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.

Pessimistic Outlook on Fiji


9. (SBU) MFAT Pacific Division Director John Adank outlined the
rocky relations between New Zealand and Fiji during recent years
and pointed out that New Zealand is making every effort to revive
its diplomatic ties with Fiji. He noted that since 2007, three
New Zealand diplomats have been expelled (one high commissioner and
two acting high commissioners). According to Adank, the
expulsions occur whenever the Bainimarama regime tires of New
Zealand's travel restrictions. Although New Zealand's diplomatic
footprint has been reduced, Foreign Minister McCully is making
every effort to move the relationship forward. During the first
week of January, FM McCully met with Fiji's Foreign Minister
Kubuabola and pressed the issue of restoring New Zealand's
diplomatic footprint in Fiji and issues surrounding Fiji's erratic
visa issuance for the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) officials. Adank
underscored that the situation in Fiji has deteriorated further
over the past year and that the United States, New Zealand,
Australia and other countries need to continue pressuring Fiji to
restore democracy. He added that there is no sense that the regime
in Fiji intends on engaging internally or externally on the issue.
Adank urged the United States to consider the reaction of other
Pacific Island nations in any decision it takes with regard to
Fiji. It needs to be done in the "right light" and "managed
carefully" to avoid driving a wedge between the Pacific Island
countries, said Adank.

Asian Regional Architecture - Three Points on APEC

--------------------------------------------- ----------------------

10. (SBU) MFAT Asia Division Director Stephen Payton briefly
discussed three issues with regards to Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation (APEC). He said that New Zealand will work closely
with the United States for the next meeting in Yokohama and help
prepare the stage for a successful APEC meeting in 2011 in Hawaii.
Second, Payton said that New Zealand is currently reviewing its
implementation of Bogor Goals, and there is some sensitivity around
this. He pointed out that New Zealand has not met the "strict
definition" of the goals, and there are perhaps some areas that New
Zealand and the United States could work together in this regard.
Last, Payton said that New Zealand is considering its position on
APEC's membership moratorium. New Zealand is open to allowing
India to join.

Bilateral Relations with the United States - Continuing on an
Upward Trajectory

--------------------------------------------- ----------------------

11. (C) Covering a wide-range of bilateral matters, America's
Division Director David Taylor first and foremost emphasized New
Zealand's appreciation for USG efforts put forward on the review of
the military relationship. He welcomed the "candor and warmth" of
discussions with DAS Reed and DASD David Scher and said that MFAT
will continue to work with the Embassy on joint messaging. Taylor
also noted his appreciation for the role of the Embassy and its
"constructive, collegial relationship" with MFAT. Regarding the
Secretary's visit, Taylor noted that the last minute postponement
in January due to the Haiti crisis was completely understandable
and he looked forward to her rescheduling. He hoped Washington
would give as much advance notice as possible. On the topic of
visitors in general, Taylor said there is "real value in visitors
from Washington" and expressed his hope that the number of visitors
from Washington will continue to grow. He also pressed on the
issue of Prime Minister Key's visit to Washington and noted the
PM's preference for June. In response to the last point, DAS Reed
emphasized that the difficulty in scheduling was not a reflection
of the relationship with New Zealand but was purely an internal
coordination issue. Taylor also addressed the issue of budget cuts
and resource caps at MFAT, but he expressed his expectation that he
would be able to augment his staff at the New Zealand Embassy in
Washington with an additional officer in the political section and
an additional officer to handle the TPP.

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