View Full Version : Red faces as NZ leader gets frisked

Buster Hyman
24th Nov 2003, 05:31
By Louise Dodson
Chief Political Correspondent Canberra
November 24, 2003

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark was frisked at Sydney Airport for explosives in an incident that has embarrassed the Australian Government.

Despite having a NZ security officer with her, Miss Clark was pulled out of a queue on October 28 and given a body scan with a new explosives detection device to make sure she was not a bomb-carrying terrorist, The Age has learned.

Senior Australian Government sources said the incident was an embarrassment. It was not regarded as the right way to treat the leader of Australia's close ally, they said.

"You won't be surprised to hear the New Zealand Prime Minister was not found to be carrying any explosives," a spokesman for Transport Minister John Anderson said.

The Government sources said: "It was a bit silly to frisk the New Zealand Prime Minister. We would expect her to be recognised by airport security staff."

A senior adviser to Miss Clark said the NZ security officer accompanying his Prime Minister was "a bit upset" that she was being scanned for explosives.

The Australian officials were told who she was, Miss Clark's senior adviser Mike Munro said.

This did not stop them. They decided to continue the scan and even sent the results to a laboratory for testing.

Miss Clark is believed not to have made a fuss and her advisers were diplomatic about the incident.

But Labor foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd has called for an apology for Miss Clark from Mr Howard and criticised her treatment by the airport staff.

"Surely Helen Clark, having been identified, should have been extended the courtesy due to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. Had John Howard been subjected to this he would have had a pink fit - if it was in New Zealand or anywhere else," Mr Rudd said.

Mr Munro said the security officials did not at first recognise Miss Clark, who was on her way to Dubai for a meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Mr Munro, along with her security guard, was with Miss Clark when the incident occurred.

She had just gone through a metal detector. Mr Munro was having his laptop checked through an X-ray machine. Miss Clark was then pulled out of the line.

"It was an extra security check," Mr Munro said. "She knows that security checks are a fact of life in air travel. We're all equals when it comes to security; no one is exempt."

Mr Anderson's spokesman defended the decision to go ahead with the screening.

"It was very brief - it took 30 seconds in all. It is a routine involving a wand wiped over a person's clothing and hands to detect whether they are carrying explosives," he said.

He confirmed that the Australian officials did not recognise Miss Clark, but said during the scanning it was pointed out to them who she was.

The screening by the new explosives detection technology was done on a strictly random basis, he said.

"It doesn't matter who you are - whether you are a first-class passenger, whether you are a business-class passenger or whether you are a VIP - if your number comes up, you're screened," he said.

Miss Clark's response was an example to all airline passengers suffering security screening tests.

"At a time when some passengers scream abuse at our security staff the fact that (a) the Prime Minister of New Zealand is randomly selected for explosives security screening and delayed while it occurred and (b) accepted it, is a lesson for all our passengers," Mr Anderson's spokesman said.

:D :E :ok:
There is a God & it isn't her!!!!
Honestly, just another storm in a tea cup. If she's not going through VIP areas, then why shouldn't she be subjeted to scrutiny. Credit to her for accepting the check too.

Geez that Kevin Rudd whines a lot! He could get a job with DJ!;)

24th Nov 2003, 05:56

Lets face it guys.
Helen Clark does look like someone set her face on fire and tried to put it out using a bicycle chain!

Why the hell wasnt she using the VIP access like all the other heads of state?
Good to see the lads doing their job anyhow.

Amd btw Buster, nobody can whinge as much as Brett Godfrey!

24th Nov 2003, 08:09
Stuff this VIP bullsh*t. If we have to suffer this inane security paranoia then so should our glorious leaders. Give Betty & her entourage a going over too.

Buster Hyman
24th Nov 2003, 09:23
Just as long as you don't touch a single ethnic mother with 8 kids, on a pension, who belongs to a religious minority & buys Michael Jackson records whilst travelling on a government sponsored wilderness togetherness project...then it's fair game for all!:rolleyes:

Ahhh. That's better!

24th Nov 2003, 11:30
Tinstaafl are you suggesting we give Betty Windsor the "Royal Treatment".
In light of recent press articles regarding Prince Charles and a former aide that may just go down well!!

Buster - spot on interpretation.

I'm still looking for a one-eyed aboriginal lesbian with a speech impediment!
Imagine the government hand outs to that one!!
Either way she'd make a great Greens candidate for parliament.

Buster Hyman
24th Nov 2003, 11:39
:ouch: OUCH!

You're a very naughty boy!!!!:}

24th Nov 2003, 12:49
I'm still looking for a one-eyed aboriginal lesbian with a speech impediment!
Imagine the government hand outs to that one!!
Either way she'd make a great Greens candidate for parliament.Kerry Nettle ??? :ooh: :ugh: :yuk:

24th Nov 2003, 18:00
I thought Helen Clark WAS a one eyed aboriginal with a speech impediment.................OOps sorry.

After all, both Kiwis and Aboriginals have one thing in common, a love affair with the Australian welfare system.................

Sorry, couln't resist.:p

24th Nov 2003, 18:19
good to see the rule makers subjected to the rules they made. Should happen more often!! Might make them think about them a lot more.

Now, if only we could get them subjected to the same superannuation laws as the rest of us..........

Thump & Go
25th Nov 2003, 04:35
At the risk of sounding like I'm defending Comrade Helen (& I certainly wouldn't do that to the pinko,PC,green loving, military hater), the reason she didn't travel through the usual VIP channels(sp?) was 'cause she was on the way up to Afganistan to see the troops she "loves" so much with the odd stop-over in the Middle-East. As a security measure her advisers suggested using less visible means of getting there.
Interestingly she was met at the door of her Emirates flight (fly NZ made Helen!) by an Ozzie government official. Obviously someone recognised her?
Sounds like someone trying to make a name for him/herself.
I'm not suprised Mr Anderson isn't remorseful, he didn't exactly go out of his way to help (unless you were QANTAS) during the (here we go) Ansett collapse either.:mad:

Buster Hyman
25th Nov 2003, 05:27
Alright, fess up you guys!

Which of you used to go along the tarmac to get to your aircraft when the screening of domestic crew came into effect???? Come on, I saw plenty of you do it at Tulla!

;) :}

capt cynical
25th Nov 2003, 07:43
Buster, Timee, et all beware the "thought police" have been informed !!

:eek: :E :rolleyes: :ugh:

Captain Sand Dune
25th Nov 2003, 08:13
Did the security staff who frisked Comrade Helen get extra danger allowance? :}

Buster Hyman
25th Nov 2003, 08:27
No extra money, but have you ever wondered why there is a supply of brown paper bags at the checkpoints......:ooh:

MIss Behaviour
25th Nov 2003, 10:51
Kerry's main speech impediment is that she stops to breathe!
:8 :8

Pinky the pilot
25th Nov 2003, 16:10
So Comrade Helen accepted the check did she now.
What has been the reaction back in Helengrad? I would have thought there would have been howls of outrage from some quarters by now.

You only live twice. Once when
you're born. Once when
you've looked death in the face.

25th Nov 2003, 16:56
why didnt they lock her up?????, hope they were wearing dark glasses

26th Nov 2003, 02:54
I would have thought a quarentein would have been a better option. By the way what sort of warped and twisted individual would want to give something like uncle helen the old rubber glove probing:}

28th Nov 2003, 03:09
No normal pax, airline employee, airport worker, etc even the odd VIP, should object to a sensible level of airport security. The problem guys and gals is the way in which the security is carried out. A quiet, polite and diplomatic request that your number has come up and you will be screned further is fair enough. However, just being almost bodily hauled out of a que and subject to rudeness and harrassment is not on at all. Unfortunately this is the position all to often in the US and UK these days.

28th Nov 2003, 09:02
My God you a nasty and vicious lot in here - it needss to be pointed out that the NZ PM herself made no protest, sought no apology, and accepted the incident as part of the travails of modern travel, graciously.

28th Nov 2003, 10:03
You should try out our neck of the woods, here all flight crew are searched 100% of the time even though it is a small place and we are known by sight by the security guys and have valid airport ID's. The political masters have a h**d on for the pilots and have instructed security to search all pilots even though the detector doesn't go off. We do get scanned and our carry on bags goes through the X ray machine (which I have no problem with) but we are frisked 100% of the time and harrased, in fact on one day they wouldn't let a crew through the security checkpoint because they were in civies on their way to do a training flight, not withstanding other staff were in civilian clothing.

Buster Hyman
3rd Dec 2003, 06:24
Just heard a whisper that the security person involved was an ex Ansett employee!!!!!:)