INDEPENDENT NEWS

Ministers reject merging proposal

Published: Tue 29 Aug 2000 03:20 PM
29 August 2000 Media Statement
Ministers reject merging proposal
Customs Minister Phillida Bunkle and Biosecurity Minister Marian Hobbs have today confirmed that border control services will not be merged following an independent review.
The review was undertaken last year, after the previous government undertook an investigation into options for improving efficiencies and effectiveness in border control services. The review team was headed by Sir Ron Carter.
The review recommended setting up a single quarantine and customs agency to improve border services. However, both ministers rejected the proposal saying structural changes could disrupt existing risk management work done by Customs and Biosecurity staff and consume precious border control resources.
"This government clearly recognises the need for improved border control and this does require the Customs and biosecurity agencies to work better together.
"However, we doubt that the cost of structural change is justified to achieve improved border services. Our officials have assured us these efficiencies can be achieved without merging the two agencies," the ministers said.
Marian Hobbs said the decision met Labour's election promise to properly organise and resource border control as well as maintaining a border agency dedicated to biosecurity.
"Biosecurity is maintained by work done, not just at the border, but before it's reached and once across," Marian Hobbs said. "This effort would be better protected by keeping separate agencies."
The Ministers said both Customs and MAF were eager to step up the fight against biosecurity risks.
"We see real value and place great importance on maintaining close liason between all border control services such as Customs, Immigration and MAF," Phillida Bunkle said.
The ministers have asked Customs and MAF to investigate closely options for strategic and operational cooperation, and information and risk assessment.
"A work programme has been set up to look closely at the practicality of these options, the potential benefits and how the suggested improvements could be implemented," the ministers said.
"As a government we are committed to protecting New Zealand's border from the many threats it faces, and part of achieving effectiveness is ensuring that the various border control agencies work within a unified strategy," they said.
Interested parties will soon be invited to contribute to the work being done.
ENDS

Next in New Zealand politics

Next Steps To Improve Safety In Wake Of Whakaari White Island Tragedy
By: New Zealand Government
Expert Group Appointed To Lead New Zealand’s Future Health System
By: New Zealand Government
Kiwis Overseas Must Be Allowed To Vote Next Year
By: Green Party
Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
By: New Zealand Government
Govt parks the expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
By: New Zealand Government
Highest jump in weekly benefit numbers since first lockdown
By: Child Poverty Action Group
Bay Of Plenty District Health Board Chair Sharon Shea Appointed Co-Chair Of The Māori Health Authority
By: Bay of Plenty District Health Board
Senior Doctors Call For Strong Clinical Voice To Lead Health Reforms
By: Association of Salaried Medical Specialists
NZMA Welcomes Health System Board Appointments
By: NZMA
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media