Border inspection system to get new machines

By Kate Shuttleworth

Border control at Auckland International Airport. Photo / Doug Sherring
Border control at Auckland International Airport. Photo / Doug Sherring

New Zealand's border inspection system is set to gain a new fleet of x-ray machines.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced at Horticulture NZ's annual conference today that 11 x-ray machines will replace existing machines at Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Queenstown airports.

The new machines will be used to inspect both the checked-in and hand luggage of people arriving in New Zealand.

Auckland and Christchurch will also receive new technology to reduce the amount of handling required to load and unload luggage onto and off the x-ray machines.

"The new x-ray images will be of a better quality than we currently have, which will make Quarantine Inspectors' jobs easier and more efficient.

"This is the first step of a major equipment replacement programme as part of our ongoing commitment to strengthen New Zealand's biosecurity system," said Mr Guy.

The x-ray machines would come alongside continued recruitment of frontline quarantine inspectors and an increase in dog handler teams, Mr Guy said.

It follows an announcement earlier this month of new x-ray trials at Auckland Airport to screen airline baggage from Melbourne before it arrives in New Zealand.

The trials are a world-first and have the potential to be extended to other major airports.

- APNZ

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