New Zealand donates customs equipment

The New Zealand Government has donated equipment to Samoa’s Ministry of Customs and Revenue to improve the protection of its international at air and sea ports.

A ceremony for the equipment's handover took place at the Customs headquarters at Matautu on Friday.

Among the donated equipment: gun safes; radio communications equipment for ports and airports (and training in their use); tool kits for airport and cargo inspections; tactical vests for wharf operations; and equipment for detecting contaminants. 

The New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa, Dr. Trevor Matheson, said that he trusts the equipment will be used effectively to support the protection of Samoa’s borders.

“Samoa is an important partner of New Zealand Customs,” he said, noting the countries' rich shared history and person-to-person links. 

“But also because of our shared interest in regional security, and the facilitation of legitimate trade and travel.

“New Zealand Customs is pleased to be working in partnership with the Samoan Ministry of Customs and Revenue to achieve their organizational goals towards a safer and more secure and prosperous Samoa.

“A prosperous Samoa contributes to a prosperous Pacific, which, we can agree, is in all our best interests.”

Dr. Matheson noted that New Zealand and Samoa are both facing changing global trade conditions (but maintain an economic relationship worth NZD $400 million), particularly in the growth of online commerce and passenger volumes, which both make supplying goods more difficult. 

“We also know that the increasing transitional nature of security threats facing the Pacific means that it is more important than ever that we, as strong countries in the region, work together and coordinate when responding to these global challenges," the High Commissioner said. 

“Recognising our shared interest in secure borders and smooth flow of people and cargo across borders, support to Samoa from New Zealand Customs started with the delivery of a Samoan led capability development programme in 2013, through New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“We are pleased to continue to provide support and advice to Samoa around targeting, risk management, and development of processes in preparation for the arrival of x-ray equipment.”

The Minister of Customs and Revenue, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, thanked the New Zealand Government for the donations.

“These tools and equipment will definitely help enhance Samoa Customs’ enforcement functions in protecting our international borders at the airport and wharf, whilst at the same time improve our revenue collections.

“The demonstration of these goods as witnessed this morning, is [...] solid evidence and testimony of [the] New Zealand Government’s continuous commitment and aspiration to support and assist Samoa’s Ministry of Customs and Revenue in its responsibilities to meet its vision of ‘working together for a secure and prosperous Samoa.’

“As the Minister of this Ministry, it is always very pleasing to see and witness gradual improvements in their overall performance in meeting government expectations and forecasted budgets every financial year since I have been their Minister.”

Tialavea added that the increase in the number of offences found and reported by our staff at the borders is always a positive sign that the technical assistance is being put to good use.

“And without a doubt, I am confident to say that these partnership relationships between our two Government organisations have been nothing but very positive and effective for the Ministry of Customs and Revenue," the Minister said. 

He also acknowledged with much appreciation the technical assistance through capacity building and advisory missions also provided by our New Zealand Customs colleagues under the Five Years In-Country Training Programme that will be complete in 2021.

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