Exporters have welcomed the Government's successful in-principle Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the UK, with one business leader saying it would restore New Zealand's trade status to levels not seen since Britain joined the EEC in 1973.
Officials believe the deal will be worth $1 billion to New Zealand's GDP.
It will eventually eliminate all tariffs on New Zealand exports to the UK, with 97 per cent of those tariffs being eliminated on the day the agreement comes into force - likely next year - and the rest slowly coming into force over 15 years.
Business group the EMA, which serves 7,400 businesses, said the deal would offer some welcome variation in market access to New Zealand exporters.
"It's great news for many of our export members, particularly in the horticulture, wine and honey sectors,' chief executive Brett O'Riley said.
The dropping of 97 per cent of all tariffs from day one is a major success and the access to new investment in both directions was also significant, he said.
"I don't think New Zealand would have had this level of free access into the UK since before the UK first went into the then European Economic Community (EEC) back in 1973," he said.
"That was a black day for many exporters, but this announcement is a bit 'Back to the Future' in terms of access."
Beef and Lamb New Zealand and the Meat Industry Association (MIA) said farmers, processors, exporters and the New Zealand economy will benefit from greater export revenue once the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) trade deal is signed and ratified.
Key features of the agreement will include improved access for high-quality New Zealand beef and more certainty for sheepmeat exports.
The New Zealand red meat sector has not had quota-free access to the British market since the United Kingdom joined the European Union in 1973.
While there are still some issues to be worked through, Sam McIvor, chief executive of Beef and Lamb NZ said the agreement was an important step towards the conclusion of an FTA between the two countries.
"This allows British consumers access to best in-season products all year around, particularly during busy periods such as Easter and Christmas, which fall during the United Kingdom's off-season meat production window," McIvor said.
Meat Industry Association chief executive Sirma Karapeeva said the FTA will allow New Zealand companies the opportunity to sell a wider range of high-quality products into the UK market, particularly beef.
Following the UK leaving the EU, New Zealand's 1300 tonne beef quota was split between the UK and the EU, leaving New Zealand with only 454 tonnes of beef access into the UK.
Outside of this quota, New Zealand beef exports attracted tariffs of up to 70 per cent, meaning virtually no "out of quota" trade occurred.
"Improved access will allow companies to deepen and expand relationships, and crucially, compete on a level playing field with our international competitors," Karapeeva said.
"While the red meat sector is disappointed in the length of the transition period, and quality of access is often in the detail of trade agreements, we recognise that this was a difficult negotiation and want to acknowledge the hard work of negotiators and the Minister to achieve this result," she said.
The deal, once signed and ratified, will result in New Zealand beef and sheepmeat exports initially entering the United Kingdom under a tariff rate quota (TRQ) regime. New Zealand will be permitted to gradually increase its export tonnages over the 10-year transition period, while the quota will eventually be completely phased out.
That means products within the TRQ amounts will enter tariff-free. While there will be no TRQ regime after a decade, a volume safeguard provision will apply to the end of year 15, beyond which no safeguards will apply.
BusinessNZ and ExportNZ said it was a "high-quality deal".
"This is a great result for trade between our two countries and opens the door to New Zealand welcoming the UK's application to join the CPTPP, which will further strengthen that agreement as well," BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope said.
ExportNZ executive director Catherine Beard said exporters will be very happy with the deal.
"This is not only a good deal for our goods exports to the UK, but has a lot in it for our services exporters, including business visas for travel, the intention to work on mutual recognition of professional qualifications, and no barriers for professional services businesses," she said.
New Zealand's onion growers said the deal would ensure that the country's onion exports would continue to grow," Onions NZ chief executive James Kuperus said.
The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) and dairy co-op Fonterra also welcomed the agreement.
"Reaching a point of complete elimination of all dairy tariffs five years after entry-into-force will make this a high-quality FTA," said DCANZ chairman Malcolm Bailey.
"This is the ambition we expect for an FTA with a developed OECD economy, and the UK has now set the bar," Bailey said.
The agreement will also provide new trade opportunities for New Zealand dairy exporters from day one.
The UK is the world's second-largest dairy import market.
However, the EU has been the dominant source of UK dairy imports due to the duty-free terms it has enjoyed since 1973.
In contrast New Zealand dairy products have faced out-of-quota tariffs around 45 per cent for butter and cheese.
New Zealand supplied less than 1 per cent of UK dairy imports in 2020.
"This agreement will provide a long-awaited level playing field for New Zealand dairy exports to the UK market," Bailey said.
"It is the first G7 country to match longstanding political rhetoric in support of removing barriers and distortions from global agricultural markets, with actual comprehensive agricultural tariff elimination in its trade arrangements," he said.
Federated Farmers national president Andrew Hoggard said was great news for consumers and farmers.
"The United Kingdom is walking the talk when it comes to promising a truly global Britain," Hoggard said.