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Updated at 7:04 pm on 25 June 2010
The International Whaling Commission talks in Morocco were scuppered before they started because most representatives didn't have a mandate to negotiate, says Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully.
The talks over a draft proposal that would have allowed Japan, Norway and Iceland to hunt a limited number of whales for 10 years under strict controls, became deadlocked this week.
Mr McCully said Japan's compromises hadn't gone far enough, but its officials had at least shown some willingness to negotiate.
Mr McCully says New Zealand officials will continue to talk with their Japanese counterparts, but the Government is also exploring legal action in the International Court of Justice.
Australia has already filed a lawsuit in The Hague.
Pro-whaling members are suspicious of quotas and time limits, while some anti-whaling campaigners attacked the plan as pandering to whalers.
Mr McCully says it's crucial that efforts to reach a diplomatic solution are not completely abandoned.
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