The following appeared on the letters page of the National Business Review, 24 January 1997, as part of an MFAT response to a readers letter. You can get the whole thing from the National Business Review (NBR).

In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said export controls were based on the Customs Prohibition Order 1996 and on an international agreement called the Wassenaar Arrangement, aimed at limiting the spread of military technology or high-technology equipment which had military applications. Export permits normally were required only if the encryption was 40-bit or higher [1], so most commercial encryption would not be affected.

[1] If they're going to try to parrot US policy, they should at least try and get it right. The US would like New Zealanders to use encryption keys of up to 40 bits, so permits would be required for 41 bits or higher.