Customs ill-prepared to protect our borders

Customs staff at our international airport borders have received no training to prepare for the increase in Kiwis returning home. This lack of preparation just reiterates how ill-prepared this Government has been to protect our borders, National’s Customs spokesperson Simon O’Connor says.

In response to an OIA request, Customs indicated they have not initiated any new training programmes for staff at international airports, showing no initiative to strengthen our border.

The first set of border restrictions were announced on 2 February 2020. The impact of Covid-19 on New Zealand has greatly escalated since then and consequently, brings new threats to our border.

After a long streak of zero cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, the Government has managed to welcome new cases back into the country. The blatant lack of additional training for Customs staff shows that the Government is not taking border protection seriously.

Customs Minister Jenny Salesa must reassure New Zealanders that Customs is doing everything in their power to secure the border, including at our international airports.

The public are quickly losing faith in this Government. National can be trusted to make the safety and protection of all New Zealanders a priority.