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Seized Clothing Bound for East Timor

23 June 2000 Media Statement

Seized Clothing Bound for East Timor

A two-tonne shipment of clothing, seized by New Zealand Customs, will be donated to people in East Timor, Customs Minister Phillida Bunkle said today.

The Minister was in Auckland today visiting Hobsonville Base to inspect the confiscated clothing.

“This is a great opportunity to strengthen our commitment to helping this new nation. This is but a small gesture but I am sure it will cement the relationship New Zealand, and our Customs Service, has developed with the East Timorese community,” Phillida Bunkle said.

The shipment was described as "rags" on importation documents when it arrived in New Zealand from Australia. On closer inspection, Customs officers discovered the shipment was in fact, high quality second hand clothing and it was consequently confiscated.

"We currently have Customs staff in East Timor now helping locals establish border controls for their community. We have already had one successful contingent of Customs staff in East Timor and the second group is continuing the good work done by the first group," Ms Bunkle said.

The Minister was hopeful that the clothing, which is on stand-by along with other aid, would be sent to East Timor as soon as a NZ Air Force craft had available space.


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