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NZ passports under threat in 'benign environment'

NZ passports under threat in 'benign environment'

National Party Leader Don Brash says the arrests in Thailand over fake New Zealand passports demonstrate again that we are not living in what Helen Clark has described as a 'benign strategic environment'.

"It should come as no surprise that a New Zealand passport has great value to those who want to travel between countries without raising suspicion.

"This is the second recent incident where the security of our passports has been called into question. It has potentially huge ramifications for Kiwis travelling overseas.

"This serves to highlight the need for vigilance at our own borders and how important it is to maintain a good working relationship with the intelligence agencies of our friends and allies.

"I think we should be looking at widening the passport inquiry recently signalled by Helen Clark to include more global security issues," says Dr Brash.

"Rightly or wrongly, there is a growing perception that New Zealand is a soft touch or an easy target when it comes to passport control and border security.

"We simply cannot risk becoming a haven for anyone who arrives on false documents or flushes their passport down an aircraft toilet.

"New Zealanders also need to be assured that we are a full and active member of the global intelligence network.

"We need world class border security and world class intelligence or we will pay a high price for being complacent," says Dr Brash.

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