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Customs relies on the eyes and ears of everyday kiwis to help stop illegal practices.

Border security is everyone's business

Customs is constantly seeking information from the public on any suspicious border activity. That’s why we have Coastwatch 0800 4 CUSTOMS. This is a nationally coordinated, 24-hour hotline to Customs.

It was local knowledge and vigilance that helped lead to the identification and capture of the Rainbow Warrior bombers. The community have an even greater role in protecting our borders today.

You can help by reporting any suspicious border activity to Customs.

How you can help

As a member of the community, your local knowledge makes you ideally placed to identify anything that appears unusual or suspicious, or people or craft that seem out of place.

You can play a vital role in helping us protect New Zealand communities from international crime, illicit drugs, terrorism, smuggling and other illegal activities.

You know what looks suspicious in your area, so let Customs know when you see or hear something.

All information and details are treated in confidence.

What you can do

  • Report any suspicious activity to Coastwatch 0800 4 CUSTOMS (0800 428 786) – regardless how minor – any time day or night
  • Ensure information is clear and accurate.

What you can’t do

  • For your own protection, do not get physically involved
  • Don't handle or disturb anything as this may harm vital evidence.

What to look for on land, sea, or in the air

  • Exotic flora and fauna smuggling
  • Unusual aircraft movements or activity on remote disused airstrips
  • Anyone attempting to land in isolated areas
  • Ships signalling to the beach or shore
  • Two vessels meeting at sea.

If you think it’s suspicious it probably is

Call us free on 0800 4 CUSTOMS (0800 428 786) and provide as much detail as possible.