11 Sep 2009

MAF job cuts won't hurt Opua

1:03 pm on 11 September 2009

Far North District Council says it has been assured by MAF that job cuts in its bio-security division will not affect the status of Opua as a port of entry to New Zealand.

About 500 yachts clear Customs at the Bay of Islands port every year.

The council says MAF will no longer have a biosecurity officer stationed at Opua year-round.

But the port will be serviced with personnel based in Whangarei, and a full-time presence will be maintained at Opua from October - March, when most of the international cruising fleet arrives in New Zealand.

The council says the servicing of overseas yachts is important for the local economy and it is essential the port keeps its customs and biosecurity clearance services.