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NZDF to assist with airport security

14 September 2001 Media Statement

NZDF to assist with airport security


New Zealand Defence Force personnel are to assist with temporary security measures at the country's three major airports, the Minister of Defence Mark Burton and the Minister of Transport Mark Gosche announced today.

The Ministers said the decision was in response to a request from the Aviation Security Service, to relieve staff who have been working long hours screening domestic passengers following the terrorist attacks in the USA.

"This will give some of those staff a well earned break. So instead of Aviation Security Service staff doing the domestic screening, air travellers may find from tomorrow that it is a member of the defence force doing the screening," Mark Gosche said.

"Section 5(f) and Section 9(1) of the Defence Act authorise the Chief of Defence Force to provide personnel for public services when requested, " Mark Burton said.

"NZDF personnel will assist the Aviation Security Service with the screening of domestic passengers at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports from 6am tomorrow morning.

"Uniformed personnel from all three services, drawn from camps and bases around the country, will supplement existing airport security staff. The provision of this support will be kept under review," Mark Burton said.

"It has been decided to continue with this domestic screening to reassure travellers and aircrew that air travel in New Zealand is safe. The assistance and cooperation of the NZDF will allow this screening to be fully staffed, and is greatly appreciated," Mark Gosche said.

ENDS

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