MAF reviews border operations

7 July 2009

MAF Biosecurity New Zealand (MAFBNZ) is reviewing its operations at the border in the light of a significant drop in trade and passenger volumes in the current worldwide economic downturn.

Cargo volumes have fallen 13 percent and passenger arrivals are down by three to four percent this year, leaving MAF facing a significant deficit in its cost recovered border operations.

While steps have already been taken across the organisation to reduce expenditure, such as reducing discretionary spending and freezing non-essential recruitment, these are not enough to balance the budget, particularly with the reduction in third party revenue.

MAFBNZ Director Cargo Clearance Steve Stuart says the ministry is now considering the actual resources needed to service lower trade volumes and how it can work better to meet fluctuating demand at the border.

"This week MAFBNZ's border staff have been given a proposal outlining options and a way forward. We are working closely with the PSA throughout this process and are actively encouraging staff submissions on the options and other alternatives to help us achieve the required efficiencies.

Across the border operations, MAFBNZ is seeking to disestablish around 30 existing vacancies and further reduce capacity by 30 currently filled positions; from around 700 staff in the Passenger, Cargo and Border Standards Directorates.

For further information, contact:

Helen Keyes, Communications Manager, Ph 029 8940161

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