The underfunding of Customs is putting the security of New Zealand’s borders at risk, says Labour’s Customs spokesperson Rino Tirikatene.
“Reports that Customs only stop 10% of illicit drug imports and are not investigating Class B drugs or imports under 5 kilograms are deeply concerning. This is a sure sign of a department that is unable to do its job adequately and appropriately.
“While the management of Customs needs to be held to account for this debacle, the root cause is inadequate funding of Customs by the Government.
“At a time when visitor numbers to New Zealand are rising, it is deeply irresponsible to not adequately fund the protection of New Zealand’s borders.
“New Zealand is facing a tsunami of hard drugs flooding into the country including record levels of methamphetamine or 'P'.
“Seven years ago, the Prime Minister made halting the scourge of 'P' a priority for his Government. It is clear on that measure alone he is failing the people of New Zealand.
“The Government needs to explain why they think that stopping drug smuggling is such a low priority,”says Rino Tirikatene.