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Hobbs And Bunkle The Do-Nothing Ministers

"The decision by Marion Hobbs and Phillida Bunkle to cancel the proposed merging of border control services demonstrates their 'do-nothing' attitude," National's Biosecurity and Border Control spokesman David Carter said today.

"The Border Control Services Review last year recommended setting up a single quarantine and customs agency as the most effective way to improve New Zealand's border control services.

"The recommendation was based on the conclusion that the current arrangement of separate customs and biosecurity agencies at our borders provides inefficient and inadequate protection.

"Marian Hobb's claims the decision to ignore that recommendation 'Meets Labour's election promise to properly organise and resource border control as well as maintaining a border agency dedicated to biosecurity'.

"But that is absolute nonsense. The primary focus must surely be to protect New Zealand's biosecurity. And this decision does nothing to achieve that.

"This latest failure is part of a growing pattern. Labour campaigned on mandatory decontamination of all used imported vehicles, but 9 months later we are yet to see this promise in place.

"And Ms Hobbs paid lip service to the idea of imposing instant fines for biosecurity breeches, but has failed to follow through, despite the previous National Government having changed the law to facilitate the introduction of fines.

"New Zealand's biosecurity and border control need to be taken seriously. I don't think we should be too surprised if nothing positive is achieved under the two current, incompetent Ministers," David Carter said.

Ends

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