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Enhanced security for overseas posts

19 May 2005

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Enhanced security for overseas posts

Security measures for staff and visitors to New Zealand's embassies and overseas posts are being strengthened, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

"A range of measures are being introduced to ensure that all New Zealand diplomatic staff, and their families, working overseas have a level of protection that is in keeping with today's heightened security environment," Mr Goff said.

"The measures include improved perimeter security, such as more robust external walls and doors, and such things as installing anti-shatter glazing, security cameras, metal detectors, alarms, x-ray machines, access control systems, perimeter fencing, improved lighting, and a few guard houses.

"The international environment has changed drastically following terrorist incidents such as September 11, the 2002 Bali bombings, and the 2003 bombings at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta and the British Consulate-General in Istanbul. Western diplomatic missions and their staff have also been targeted in other countries and we cannot assume that New Zealand offices and staff are immune from such attacks.

"The security improvements are being funded by an allocation of $19.2 million in this year's budget. The money includes a one-off capital injection of $10 million for work already undertaken, and a further $9.16 million over four years to ensure that physical and personnel security measures are maintained.

"This expenditure follows funding of $3.5 million in Budget 2003 for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to carry out assessments of security and protection needs at all New Zealand's overseas posts and to make operational improvements," Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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