Trade Minister Tim Groser says New Zealanders' views will be taken into account when the Government makes any decision about whether to join an Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta).
Concerns have been raised about Acta, and Labour has criticised secrecy around international negotiations being held in Wellington this week.
The stated aim of the talks is to reach agreement to more effectively combat the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods, through better enforcement mechanisms for intellectual property rights.
However, Labour MP Clare Curran said there was more to it.
"The agreement is much wider in scope and addresses the regulation of internet use by private citizens in an attempt to prevent unauthorised sharing of copyrighted works."
She called for the Government to say publicly what the New Zealand negotiating position was.
Mr Groser told NZPA that the views within New Zealand on Acta were diverse and they ranged from support from the New Zealand film industry -- which lost $100m a year through copying of local films -- to opposition from internet activists worried about loss of freedoms.
He said various groups had "perfectly legitimate concerns". But the time for a "rational debate" on the issue would be when negotiations ended and New Zealand had to decide if it was in its interests to join or not.
Mr Groser said he would not be giving details of the talks but once an agreement was reached public input would be sought.
"The approach both this Government and the previous Labour government took, which I think is the right call, is that it is better to be involved in negotiations when you are trying to put something new on the table than stay outside."
The Government consulted before the talks.
"Not only have we consulted widely, expressed what the issues are, but we will of course publish a full national interest analysis at the end of this negotiation and call for consultations. It will go through a parliamentary select committee process and then the Government will make a decision as to whether it wishes to join or not."
Mr Groser said the Government could not release the negotiating text as that would require agreement of partners -- 11 countries were involved in the present negotiations.
Oxfam also raised concerns the agreement would block generic medicines from reaching poor people in developing countries.
Mr Groser said those concerns were unfounded.
"I can categorically rule that out as an outcome of this negotiation... this negotiation is over enforcement procedures relating to existing patent and copyright rights it is not trying to negotiate new patents, new provisions for copyright."
The negotiations are being conducted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ministry of Economic Development officials.
Other countries involved are Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States.
Informal discussions began in 2007 and the first negotiating round was held in June 2008. There have been six rounds of negotiations so far. Once an agreement has been reached, it is up to individual participants to decide whether and when to bring Acta into force.