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Strong Police Response Planned To Combat Terrorism

Additional police staff at airports and a dedicated terrorism investigation and intelligence group, are among a range of counter-terrorism initiatives, announced by Police Minister George Hawkins today.

The government is putting $2.57 million a year by 2003/4 into the police component of a wider package of measures designed to combat terrorism.

“We have identified areas where New Zealand’s counter-terrorism response capability can be significantly improved and we are allocating additional funding to support that capability,” said George Hawkins.

The package of police initiatives designed to improve New Zealand’s counter-terrorism response capability includes:

 The establishment of 26 full-time equivalent sworn police positions to provide ongoing security at New Zealand’s six major airports - Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, and Rotorua;
 The establishment of a permanent Police Terrorism – Investigation and Intelligence Group;
 The establishment of police liaison posts in Washington DC and London to enhance intelligence gathering and ensure the coordination of operational responses to terrorism.

“The government’s counter-terrorism measures reflect the government’s commitment to strengthening New Zealand’s security measures.

“The allocation of additional funding demonstrates our determination to not only strengthen New Zealand’s counter-terrorism capability, but to ensure that the response is ongoing.

“I am confident that the initiatives that have been announced will contribute significantly to New Zealand’s national security and border protection,” George Hawkins said.

Ends

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