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New Zealand First's approach to international relations is tough-minded, independent, and integrated. It affirms and enhances our country's traditional relationships while recognizing the emergence of global, and the realities of regional and international politics. It recognizes the threat of international terrorism and regards the safety of New Zealand citizens as paramount.

New Zealand First will:

  • Continue to enhance the special New Zealand association and interest in the Pacific region. As a good neighbour, New Zealand will make the Pacific its major focus of attention.
  • Further develop relationships within the greater Asia-Pacific region in recognition of its growing importance to New Zealand's security and wellbeing.
  • Further review the level of Overseas Development Assistance and its global allocation, and ensure that it is focused on facilitating priority projects, and the alleviation of poverty, particularly in the Pacific region.
  • Provide the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade with the proper resources to promote New Zealand's trade interests internationally.
  • Promote diplomacy as the first option to resolve international conflict with the use of military force only to be used as a final resort when all other means have been exhausted.
  • Remain strongly committed to New Zealand's anti-nuclear policy.
  • Continue to advocate against the exploitation of Antarctica and for the cessation of all whaling.
  • Ensure that intelligence gathering is subject to greater and more transparent parliamentary control.

TRADE

Trade is New Zealand's lifeblood.

New Zealand's recent export performance has been disappointing. There has been a low exports to GDP ratio, a slow rate of market diversification, a narrow concentration of our exports in a small number of firms (about 150 firms responsible for 75 per cent of exports), and serious exchange rate and current account difficulties.

The export and innovation focus of New Zealand First's plans provide the base from which a re-orientation towards high technology and further processing industries will lead the way to an export performance that builds on the best of the present and provides growth for the future.

However, New Zealand is entering a period of unprecedented impetus for bilateral trade agreements. This must be viewed with caution as New Zealand's relative size leaves it particularly exposed to the inherent imbalances of bilateral trade.

New Zealand First maintains that in the absence of a truly even playing field for trade, we must always act in New Zealand's best interests and not naively pursue free trade simply to appease other nations.

New Zealand First will:

  • Give priority to New Zealand industries and communities in setting any programme on tariffs. Future tariff removal will be consistent with the policies and progress of our trading partners. We aim to win the export and employment stakes, not some artificial tariff removal race.
  • Encourage businesses to engage in import substitution.
  • Support and develop the ‘buy New Zealand-made’ campaign and, where practicable place ‘buy New Zealand’ purchasing requirements on taxpayer and ratepayer owned businesses and State Owned Enterprises.
  • Review all current and future bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), including the Closer Economic Relations (CER) process, to improve transparency and accountability and to ensure they are in New Zealand's interest. We will support FTAs that are demonstrably in New Zealand's interests.

EXPORTS

New Zealand's recent export performance has been disappointing. There has been a low exports to GDP ratio, a slow rate of market diversification, a narrow concentration of our exports in a small number of firms (about 150 firms responsible for 75 per cent of exports), and serious exchange rate and current account extremes.

The export focus of New Zealand First's plans provide the base from which a re-orientation towards innovation, high technology and further processing industries will lead the way to an export performance that builds on the best of the present and provides growth for the future.

New Zealand First will:

  • Aim to treble exports, in real terms, by 2025 and will set goals to reach that target building on the achievements of the party's innovative Export Year 2007.
  • Refocus the role of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to better harness exporting prospects where we have a competitive advantage.
  • Properly resource the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to ensure that the facilitation of trade is a priority.
  • Implement a programme of thoroughly researching prospective markets, of facilitating ease of entry into these markets, and of ensuring that we have the best possible match between what we are producing and the demands of these markets.
  • Expand development banking and venture capital opportunities.
  • Develop, in conjunction with the export sector, an export credit guarantee scheme that works.
  • Expand the beachheads programme.
  • Co-ordinate and support the measurement of the impact on climate change of land-based primary production exports and advance arguments to debunk 'food miles' argument.
  • Follow up the reduction in company taxation with the implementation of tax abatement and concession policies to ensure that viable exporting opportunities and innovation are not lost (20 per cent tax rate on 'new export' net income).
  • Further promote innovation by tax-incentivised research and development comparative to other first world nations, and by ensuring that technology transfer occurs within both the public and the private sectors.
  • Support the development of limited partnerships to facilitate New Zealand firms attracting investment capital.
  • Improve broadband uptake in New Zealand and facilitate improved internet pricing and technology to improve international competitiveness for Kiwi businesses.
  • Increase the international competitiveness of New Zealand business by reducing red-tape and compliance costs and improve information flows by continuing to develop a single information portal for exporters.
  • Support a commission to maintain ongoing independent inquiry into all Government red tape and compliance costs requiring that their existence be justified, and further requiring that the commission report regularly to the Government.

IMPORTS

New Zealand First will:

  • Give priority to New Zealand industries and communities in setting any programme on tariffs. Future tariff removal will be consistent with the policies and progress of our trading partners. We aim to win the export and employment stakes, not some artificial tariff removal race.

IMPORT SUBSTITUTION

New Zealand First will:

  • Encourage businesses to engage in import substitution.
  • Support and develop the ’buy New Zealand-made’ campaign and, where practicable place purchasing requirements on taxpayer and ratepayer owned businesses and State Owned Enterprises.

Rt Hon Winston Peters MP on this policy

"New Zealand First's approach to international relations is tough-minded, independent, and integrated. It affirms and enhances our country's traditional relationships while recognizing the emergence of global, and the realities of regional and international politics. It recognizes the threat of international terrorism and regards the safety of New Zealand citizens as paramount."