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Budget 2006: More money for safer borders

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Immigration

More money for safer borders

Budget 2006 provides additional funding to better protect New Zealand's borders and improve immigration outcomes.

"The budget allocates an extra $16 million over four years to border security measures. Immigration plays a vital role in driving economic transformation but it is equally important that we only let in people that are best for New Zealand and that our borders are protected," Immigration Minister David Cunliffe said today.

"This extra funding will provide additional staff and resources for the Department of Labour's profiling group to ensure informed and correct decisions are made about people wanting to come to New Zealand."

Last year the Labour-led government dedicated $13 million to border security initiatives, adding to the nearly $20 million spent in the area since 2003. This has seen major improvements in border security technology and processes, including screening all passengers before they board flights to New Zealand.

“This new technology has contributed to the number of spontaneous asylum seekers falling from 1694 in 2000 to 395 in 2004/05," David Cunliffe said.

"The government's border security initiatives are clearly working and the extra funding in Budget 2006 builds on this progress."

A review of the Immigration Act is also underway.

"The review is an opportunity to simplify and streamline the law to further strengthen border security and to ensure New Zealand grants entry to the migrants that will be of most benefit to the economy," David Cunliffe said.

ENDS

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