New Zealand Labour Party

Minister in La La Land over drug smuggling

The Customs Minister is in La La land if she thinks seven Customs officers can monitor all drug traffickers at the border when they have to assess 2,000 passengers an hour at Auckland International Airport, says Labour’s Customs spokesperson Rino Tirikatene.

“Nicky Wagner needs to set her sights higher if she believes that stopping one in 10 attempts to smuggle drugs into New Zealand is a success.

“The cost of this failure is more 'P' on the street and increased havoc in our communities.

 “The Customs Minister has clearly not read the latest report of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet which shows the price of 'P' has decreased from $700 to $650 per gram in the past 12 months, while the purity and availability of the drug is increasing.

“Meth usage in New Zealand remains above the global average.

"Mismanagement of the Customs Service has done nothing to stop the scourge of “P” in our communities.

“While individual officers on the frontline are doing the best they can, they are being stretched too thinly.

"With increasing numbers of visitors to New Zealand, the Customs Service is failing to do its job and the holes are getting bigger,” says Rino Tirikatene.