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WikiLeaks: NZ asks about access to TSA's no fly list

WikiLeaks cable: NZ asks about access to TSA's no fly list

This is one of the diplomatic cables about New Zealand held by Wikileaks.

30 September, 2005 SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND ASKS ABOUT ACCESS TO TSA'S NO FLY LIST

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

Classified by: Charge d'Affaires David R. Burnett. Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (S) Summary: New Zealand Immigration is interested in possible access to the Transportation Security Administration's "no fly" list as a way to improve the country's border security. New Zealand law enforcement agencies already work closely with U.S. counterparts, and New Zealand Immigration views possible access to the no-fly list as an extension of that cooperation. Immigration's interest in the list is further evidence that the New Zealand government would be receptive to participation in the HSPD-6 pilot project on terrorist lookout information sharing (ref B). End summary.

2. (C) As requested in ref A, Embassy econoff met September 29 with Arron Baker of New Zealand Immigration to discuss a message he sent to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeking information on the no-fly list. Baker, national manager of border security and compliance operations, said that Immigration proposed to use the list to screen passengers flying to New Zealand. Any individual who appeared on the list and was trying to enter New Zealand under a visa-waiver program would be told to apply for a visa.

3. (C) Baker would like to know more about the list, particularly what criteria are used to place a person on it. If a passenger were identified as on the list, he asked whether New Zealand Immigration could immediately contact TSA or a relevant U.S. office to discuss how to proceed and the reasons why the passenger was on the list. Baker would like to open formal discussions with the U.S. government on whether access to the list would be allowed and how it could be used by New Zealand.

4. (C) New Zealand wants to keep out individuals on the no-fly list for obvious reasons, Baker said. "If the U.S. considers them to be risks, then why are we letting them fly to New Zealand," he asked. His agency's interest in the list stems from a case in 2004, when Air New Zealand told Immigration that it had identified one of the passengers it had carried to New Zealand as on the no-fly list. After investigation, Immigration determined that the individual was a member of Hamas and had applied for permanent residency in New Zealand on the basis of what turned out to be a sham marriage. If Immigration had known about the individual's inclusion in the list, it would have denied him entry. Baker did not know whether the individual still is in New Zealand.

5. (C) Baker noted that New Zealand and U.S. law enforcement officials already cooperate well in enhancing transnational security. As an example, he said that under the APEC Regional Movement Alert List, Australia, New Zealand and the United States will be sharing data on lost and stolen passports. Immigration's border security officials and DHS contact each other directly on individual cases.

6. (U) Baker also pointed out that New Zealand uses a system similar to the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) that connects airline counters to New Zealand Immigration and allows for passenger screening at the time of check-in. (Note: The New Zealand Ministry of Transport has offered information and a demonstration on its Advanced Passenger Processing system to the U.S. government, per ref D.)

7. (S) Comment: Post recommends that we pursue discussions with the New Zealand government on access to the no-fly list, because we believe it would enhance NZ border security. New Zealand Immigration recognizes that important details would have to be worked out, including how to proceed when an individual is identified as on the list. Post also believes this interest in the no-fly list could be used to advance discussions with the New Zealand government on sharing screening information on known and suspected terrorist lookouts (ref C and E). Post awaits instructions on how the interagency would like to proceed on these issues.

Burnett

ENDS

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