Asylum-seeker exercise held in Auckland
Tue, 19 Jun 2012 6:24p.m.
By Ingrid Hipkiss
An exercise to see how New Zealand would cope if a boat full of asylum seekers arrived has been playing out in Auckland today.
The story in today’s exercise was that 500 asylum seekers had arrived by boat from Sri Lanka.
Acting under the code name "Exercise Barrier”, authorities including medics, customs, immigration officers and police tried to assess who the asylum seekers were and whether they posed any danger.
Today's scenario was make-believe, but the officials were real, and so to – according to Immigration Minister Nathan Guy – is the threat.
“These are treacherous waters for anyone who wants to take on this exercise and come all the way down here to New Zealand," says Mr Guy.
“We want to show that we are very tough. We don’t respect people who want to queue jump.”
The pretend processing centre will operate until midnight tonight.
How well those involved have performed will be assessed by the end of the week.
The exercise involved 380 staff from 18 Government agencies at a cost of up to $200,000.
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22/06/2012 12:24:07 p.m.
It took $200,000 to train to put them on a bus and drive them to airport so they can get a plane to the boats country of origin ?
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