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Govt Puts Out Welcome Mat On NZ's Back Door

28 October 2001

The latest incident of illegal entry by ten stowaways has seriously exposed the laxness and complacency of New Zealand's border control, National's Immigration spokesperson Marie Hasler said today.

"If the Government is serious about supporting the war on terrorism, it must tighten our border security. Instead, it shows every sign of putting out the welcome mat on the back door for illegal immigrants.

"The recent downgrading of New Zealand's naval force, and virtual grounding of the Air Force's surveillance capacity has opened a glaring weakness in New Zealand's border controls.

"New Zealand is already seen to be a soft touch on illegal migrants. We need to ensure all migrants come through the proper process and we should be policing our borders more stringently.

"We should learn from Australia's experience, not be the safe house in the South Pacific for illegal immigration.

"The Government must take immediate action to tighten controls on our borders so stowaways are deterred from trying to gain illegal entry to our country. New Zealand must not be an easy haven for illegitimate asylum-seekers," Marie Hasler said.

Ends




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