Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Jim Sutton At Detector Dog Graduation

Hon Jim Sutton Speech Notes 28 June 2001

Embargoed until: 2pm, 6 July 2001

Detector dog graduation, Auckland

Neil Hyde, Rene Gloor, ladies and gentlemen: thank you for inviting me here this evening.

I am delighted to welcome the new members of MAF's thin green line - our country's first defence against the myriad of pests and diseases that could potentially wreak havoc here if they got established.

You six are part of the extra $4.6 million that got allocated to biosecurity and border control measures in March, in the wake of the foot and mouth outbreak in Britain.

The other measures from that allocation - the extra soft-tissue x-ray machines and their operators - are efficient and excellent, but they are less visible than yourselves.

The twelve of you - canines included - are the first impressions visitors get of MAF, of how seriously we in New Zealand take biosecurity.

That puts a big responsibility on your shoulders.

Not only does everyone in New Zealand rely on you to sniff out potentially dangerous material, thus protecting us all, we also need you to do it in a friendly, non-aggressive - but assertive - way.

Not always the easiest.

With your graduation today, this will bring the numbers of operational detector dog teams to 19 nationally. That's 12 working at Auckland International Airport, 2 teams at the Christchurch International Airport and 2 teams at the Wellington International Airport, as well as the 3 active response dog teams who are focusing on incoming mail at the International Mail Centre in Auckland.

Of the six teams graduating today, Moses Toeke and K9 Dana, Jessica van der Pol and K9 Sofie, Aimee Grimmer and K9 Miska, Karyn Allen and K9 Cassie, and Paul Northover and K9 Buster will be working here in Auckland at the airport.

Sarah Hudson and K9 Bess are heading for work at Wellington International Airport.

I'm sure you'll all be busy.

I've been told the average detection rate per dog handler team ranges between 7 to 10 seizures per day.

Since the beginning of the year the Detector Dog Teams made nation wide over 3400 seizures at the International Airports (48 % of them undeclared.). Over 170 interceptions during that period were seized "on the person". That means that the passenger had hidden the quarantine risk material by either carried in coat pockets or strapped to the body.

Given that the number of instant fines dished out had risen to 450 last Monday, I think you'll all find you do have plenty to do.

I'm confident you've been well-trained and you will carry out your duties well. MAF has an international reputation for good training programmes in this area. In the past, the MAF Detector Dog Programme has sold fully trained detector dogs to several other agencies like the Australian Quarantine Service, Department of Agriculture of Hawaii, and the Department of Agriculture of Argentina.

In January 2001, the MAF Detector Dog Programme hosted the first annual Conference for Biosecurity Detector Dogs in Auckland. Representatives from USA, Canada, Australia and the state of Hawaii but also from the NZ Customs Service Drug Dog Programme participated during the one week long workshop and conference. That gives an indication of the regard in which the MAF team here is held.

Thank you all for completing this course. The work you're going to do is extremely important to this country, and we value it.

Congratulations on your graduation and good luck in your working lives.

Thank you.

Office of Hon Jim Sutton


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Rebuilding: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General.

“The aim of the inquiry is to learn from the experience of the Canterbury earthquakes and ensure that the Earthquake Commission is fit for purpose in future events.

“The insurance system as a whole, including EQC’s role in that system, needs to be ready to deliver services to those affected by the next big event – whenever or wherever that happens." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>

ALSO:

"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Loses In Supreme Court: Call For Debate On Prisoners' Right To Vote

The court earlier this week upheld a High Court decision which found that a law restricting a prisoner's right to vote was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights. More>>

ALSO:

Shenanigans: NZ First Accepts Jami-Lee Ross Proxy Vote

The New Zealand First caucus strongly believes that in terms of the Electoral Integrity Amendment Act, that someone in Mr Ross’ position should resign his seat... the New Zealand First Whip will use Mr Ross’ proxy–to be exercised at all times in support of the vote of the National Party... More>>

ALSO:

Call For Conversation: Do You Know What Data Is Being Collected About You?

New Zealand Maori Council has called on a national conversation when it comes to data sovereignty asking the question “just how many people know what data is being collected, why and how is it being used?” More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels