18 Jun 2009

Govt seeks to clarify Australian trade announcement

2:51 pm on 18 June 2009

The New Zealand Government is seeking clarification over a trade announcement made by a state government in Australia.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says he has had reports that preference in New South Wales will be given to local businesses bidding for government contracts.

Mr McCully says there are rules about government procurement under the Closer Economic Relations agreement between New Zealand and Australia.

He says those rules require that New Zealand be treated as 'local' for arrangements of this sort, but is seeking clarification that will in fact be the case in New South Wales.

Mr McCully will meet with Australia's Foreign Minister Stephen Smith at Parliament on Thursday afternoon and says the issue is sure to be discussed.