New Zealand High Commission Canberra, Australia

Trans-Tasman Exercise to strengthen our borders

New Zealand Customs Minister Maurice Williamson and Australian Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor have welcomed the successful completion of Exercise Tasman Union.

Exercise Tasman Union was a joint training operation by Customs agencies in each country.

The exercise involved a realistic scenario of simultaneous precursor drug importations into New Zealand and Australia using small water craft. In the exercise, both countries were required to respond to the threat at their respective borders

“Maintaining effective border protection,” said Mr Williamson, “shows our dedication to stopping the criminals that try to bring illicit goods into our two countries.”

Exercise Tasman Union was conducted as a way for both agencies to test their ability to respond to joint operational activities. A key objective of the exercise was to critically assess how to improve joint operational, intelligence and response coordination in future.

Australian Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor said international cooperation is vital to effectively manage threats to our borders.

“Organised criminals don’t respect national borders and will try to exploit any opportunity they can. That’s why we need to maintain good practices with our neighbours and stay one step ahead of organised crime networks,” Mr O’Connor said.

Mr Williamson said that the exercise is another example of the great working relationship between New Zealand’s Customs Service and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

“Working together to keep up-to-date in maintaining effective border protection is a further step forward in our trans-Tasman relationship and shows our dedication to stopping the criminals that try to bring illicit goods into our countries,” Mr Williamson said.

“Mr Williamson and I congratulate Australian and New Zealand Customs officers on a successful operation and their continued good work to protect our countries from illegal activities,” said Mr O’Connor


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