Plans to publicly release a controversial intellectual property treaty have been welcomed by the Government.
Trade Minister Tim Groser said New Zealand has pushed for the release of the negotiating text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), during negotiations held in Wellington last week.
The text will be released on Wednesday, April 21 (Eastern Standard Time in the United States, Thursday in New Zealand).
"New Zealand has supported public release of the negotiating text, in response to strong public interest, and I am pleased that we have now reached agreement with the other participants in this negotiation. This will make the ACTA negotiations more accessible to the public and I hope that it will help the process of reaching a final agreement," Mr Groser said.
Participants in the negotiations included Australia, Canada, the European Union, represented by the European Commission, the European Union Presidency (Spain) and EU Member States, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States of America.
Some have been concerned about the direction ACTA talks have been taking with various leaks about its content
The Acta trade deal is planned to set a new benchmark for enforcement of intellectual property rights but critics of the secrecy have argued it will infringe on digital rights and impose draconian rules aimed largely at protecting the interests of copyright holders such as movies and music companies.
The trade agreement is expected to include a "three strikes" policy, requiring internet service providers to block people who repeatedly breach copyrights.
The next ACTA meeting will be hosted by Switzerland in June 2010, with the aim of concluding ACTA as soon as possible this year.