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Border Review Team Reports Back Options

Border Control Minister John Luxton today released a public discussion document outlining future options for New Zealand's border management systems.

The document is the work of the Border Review Team which was established in February to examine ways of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of New Zealand's border control services. The team consisting of Sir Ron Carter (Chair), Mr Rick Christie and Dr Peter O'Hara today reported back to Mr Luxton at an official handover in Wellington.

"I am delighted with the work of the team so far. They have put in an enormous number of hours and met with a very wide range of stakeholders - over 90 of whom lodged submissions. The analysis is comprehensive, the options provided are constructive and I believe the discussion document offers plenty for stakeholders to comment on."

"The purpose of the review was to seek out opportunities for positioning our border management for the future. The perception by both Government and industry then was that efficiency and effectiveness could be improved."

"The Government takes its commitment to managing and protecting our borders very seriously. For an island nation like New Zealand, it is critical that we have a highly effective border control system."

"We knew that certain issues and opportunities had to be better defined, and the future forces of change well understood before change could be considered. The team have highlighted several areas where co-ordination could be improved and I welcome that."

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New Zealand has one of the most sophisticated border protection systems in the world but there is always room for improvement.

The team has identified three models to achieve operational efficiencies. -a virtual integration (the status quo but with greater co-operation) -a partial integration (generic functions with the provision to contract specialist services on an as needs basis); and, -a structural integration (a single border agency)

The models reflect degrees of integration on a continuum and are designed to be easily compared and contrasted. The discussion document has a logical and principled-approach to guide the consultation process.

"I encourage all interested parties to respond to the document by 31 August and I look forward to receiving the Review Team's final report by 30 October."

Copies of the report are available from The Border Review Team, PO Box 1042, Wellington; ph (04) 474 8199 or can be viewed online at www.govt.nz.

ENDS

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