How do we consult on free trade agreements
Consultation usually starts before negotiations begin and continues until an agreement is ratified, though the extent of consultation for each trade agreement can vary depending on the level of interest.
We ensure New Zealanders have an opportunity to share their views by:
- publicising trade negotiations through the media and social media
- creating information and feedback channels through the MFAT website or through FTA_outreach@mfat.govt.nz
- calling for public submissions
- emailing interested groups
- face-to-face meetings, which are publicised on the MFAT website
- the parliamentary examination process, which includes a separate process for public submissions
As the Crown’s Treaty Partner, it is important that Māori have the opportunity to influence the development of policies which affect their interests and the growth of the Māori economy.
The Government holds dedicated engagement with Māori on trade agreements to:
- provide for an active partnership
- respond to the range of needs, aspirations rights and interests present within Māoridom
This can involve hui-a-iwi in regions around the country or consultation hui with roopū that have expressed an interest in trade agreements such as Waitangi Tribunal Claimants, the Iwi Chairs Forum, Federation of Māori Authorities and Māori health practitioners and researchers.
We publicise consultation hui with Māori on the MFAT website.
As part of ongoing consultations, the views of New Zealanders are routinely collated and reported to Ministers and officials take those views into account when seeking negotiating mandates from Ministers. For each trade agreement, a summary of the consultation that has taken place is included in a National Interest Analysis (NIA) which is publically available on the MFAT website. The NIA is created after the trade negotiation has concluded and the results can be analysed. A recent example of this is the National Interest Analysis for the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership.
While negotiations are underway we do our best to update New Zealanders on progress without giving away information which would hurt the national interest, such as New Zealand’s negotiating bottom lines and information our negotiating partners have provided to us in confidence.
Up to date information regarding the Government’s free trade agreements (FTAs) currently under negotiation can be found here:
- the European Union-New Zealand FTA
- the New Zealand-China FTA upgrade
- the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
- the New Zealand-Pacific Alliance FTA
- the New Zealand-India FTA
Read more about how we engage New Zealanders on trade agreements and how you can have your say.
Where can I find all the agreements that New Zealand has with other countries?
New Zealand Treaties Online (external link) maintains a ‘Treaties in Progress’ section containing information on all the international agreements New Zealand is in the process of negotiating, concluding, ratifying or amending.
There are a number of different government agencies involved in negotiating treaties and the lead government agency for a treaty is responsible for keeping the ‘Treaties in Progress’ section up to date. MFAT’s International Treaty Making Guide [PDF, 484 KB] provides additional information on the treaty-making process and guidelines for consultation including the Strategy for Engaging with Māori on International Treaties.