A Fiji pro-democracy supporter is deliberately targeted and harassed at Auckland airport by NZ Customs, on behalf of the NZ government.
After arriving at Auckland airport the individual goes through the normal arrival procedures through immigration and customs. The individual is cleared by customs and exits the arrival gate. The individual then waits around for approximately ten minutes for friends who arrive and they walk out of the airport terminal to the car park.
A customs officer runs up behind the individual and asks to see their passport. The customs officer confirms its the individual and tells them that they need to go back into the airport, where the individual is told their bags will need to be searched for drugs and weapons.
Shouldn't this search have been done BEFORE I exited the customs area and the airport terminal and BEFORE I had mingled with members of the public, asked the individual. Well yes was the reply from the female customs officer, but we still need to search your bags for drugs and weapons. BUT after I have exited the building, the individual asks again. Is this how NZ customs searches people for drugs and weapons asks the individual, after they exit the airport building? After some discussion a senior customs officer says that they also conduct searches on behalf of other agencies. Its just their job.
The search of the bags finds nothing, the individual had first been threatened with "it is your last chance to tell the truth". I have declared everything says the individual, its all declared in my customs declaration, which has my signature. Next the customs officer is told to search the laptops and phones.
Will we find anything objectionable on your laptop or phones asks the customs officer. What's objectionable asks the individual. Any pornography or child sex videos or pictures says the customs officer. The only objectionable photos you will find are ones of people tortured and beaten up and those soldiers with their heads smashed open - murdered by Fiji’s dictator.
Customs finds nothing "objectionable" on the laptops and phones and allows the individual to repack the bags and leave. Approximately 2 hours have lapsed.