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Premature to congratulate yourself on P war, Key

8 December 2009
Media release

It’s premature to congratulate yourself on P war, Mr Key

It's premature for Prime Minister John Key to be congratulating himself over the recent drug busts at the border – when his own Customs Minister is on record as saying he doesn’t know how much of the drug and precursors cross our borders undetected, says Labour’s Customs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.

“There has been comment from concerned government backbenchers that just 20 per cent of illegal drugs coming over our borders are intercepted,” Su'a William Sio said.

“The Minister of Customs himself has said during the post budget select committee that he did not know the true quantity of illicit drugs that go through our borders unnoticed.

“The fact that Customs has intercepted an estimated $84 million worth of P at our borders reflects the huge demand for P that exists in our communities.

“Labour supports initiatives that help tackle the scourge of drugs such as P but instead of patting himself on the back, Mr Key should make sure his government does not nobble our border control and customs personnel.

“Since the election Mr Key’s government has cut biosecurity funding by $2 million, reduced frontline staff numbers by 56, and lopped $2.85 million from funding for Customs functions.

“He should also be looking at how to stop the demand for P and whether there is sufficient drug rehabilitation centres available for those with drug addictions.

“John Key is not going to achieve real and sustained successes in our communities against P by sitting back and smiling while his Ministers cut money from the areas that matter the most,” Su'a William Sio said.


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