Media Releases

Major study offers steps for special partnership with the United States

21 February 2011

An in-depth study into the relationship between New Zealand and the United States has deemed the two countries “natural Pacific Partners”, and has developed a road map for creating a “special partnership”.
It says both countries have much to gain from an even closer relationship.
The study, entitled Pacific Partners: the future of US-New Zealand relations was carried out by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) – a highly respected Washington think tank – in conjunction with a team of New Zealand experts assembled by the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs.
Its findings were released today for discussion during the Fourth US NZ Partnership Forum in Christchurch.
Principal author of the report, Ernest Z. Bower, said the group’s findings reflected the sentiment expressed during Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent visit to New Zealand, which culminated in the signing of the Wellington Declaration – a high-level statement of intent for both countries to enhance their relationship.
While the report acknowledges the United States and New Zealand already share “fundamental values and overwhelming common interests”, the bulk of its content focuses on steps the countries can take to achieve greater cooperation in five key areas: security; trade and investment; science and technology education and culture; and transnational issues.
Recommendations made in the report include:
·         Establishing a programme of strategic government to government dialogue
·         Increasing collaboration on climate change issues and discussion
·         Creating a centre of excellence for joint science and technology projects
·         Encouraging stronger educational and research ties through institutional partnerships
·         Modifying visa schemes to reduce travel barriers
·         Working together to set an agenda for nuclear nonproliferation discussions.
The report also urged the swift inclusion of the United States into the Trans-Pacific Partnership to establish a base position from which an APEC-wide Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific could be created.
NZ US Council chairman Rt Hon James Bolger welcomed the report, saying it was a, “Serious, scholarly and forward looking assessment of the relationship.”
“It poses some interesting ideas and challenges which will be discussed at the forum and will form a backdrop to further developments between our countries.”

Link to full report

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