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Customs Long Service Awards To 115 Staff

5 April, 2000 17:48


Three Auckland based Senior Customs Officers, with a combined total of 135 years of continuous long service, are among more than 100 staff to receive individual awards from the Comptroller of Customs, Robin Dare this week.

The New Zealand Customs Service is acknowledging long service contributions by staff in special award ceremonies at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The Minister of Customs Hon Phillida Bunkle, will attend Thursday’s Wellington presentations.

Bruce Smith, of Blockhouse Bay, is based at Customs Inspections at Mangere, Ralph McKenzie of Pakuranga, at the International Mail Centre, and Brian Redfern of Milford, is attached to the Customs Service Help Desk in Auckland. They each receive specially designed plaques to acknowledge their 45 year milestone with Customs.

Six Officers are recognised for 40 years continuous service. They are Dave Mayers and Dave Mitchell of Auckland, Paul McEnaney, Peter Dawson, Rod Hall, of Wellington, and Alan Edward of Christchurch. The remaining recipients’ records vary from 10 to 30 years. In Wellington the 32 Customs Officers’ combined total is 745 years continuous long service.

Robin Dare says most organisations recognise long service achievement by their staff. Such events though are becoming a rarity There can’t be many administrations who are able to honour 115 staff in this way, however long service is a unique Customs tradition.

“As well as many years of professional commitment and loyalty, there is a wealth of experience and knowledge that only comes with long service. I fully appreciate the enormous contribution to the reputation and integrity of Customs, that has been made by all these staff.”

“Customs introduced the long service awards in the early 1990’s to publicly and officially recognise long faithful service in Customs work, both in New Zealand and in similar administrations overseas,” Mr Dare said.


cc Details of the 3 x Auckland based Customs Officers
Names of all recipients, their years of service, & their locations.

Long service a Customs tradition

Many organisations recognise the long service of staff, but there can’t be many which would be able to honour 32 people with more than 30 years’ service, including three who have served more than 45 years each.

Early in April, Service Award ceremonies will be held in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. In Auckland Bruce Smith, Brian Redfern, and Ralph McKenzie will each receive a specially designed plaque to acknowledge them reaching the 45-year milestone.

In all more than 100 staff will have their long service recognised. The roll of honour is:

Years/Area Name
45 Years – Auck Bruce Smith, Brian Redfern, Ralph McKenzie
40 Years – Auck Dave Mayers, Dave Mitchell
Wgtn Paul McEnaney, Peter Dawson, Rod Hall
Chch Alan Edward
30 Years – Auck Stephen Baggs, Dave O’Reilly, Warren Bexley, Dave Meredith, Brent Guthrie, Jim Masson, Iti Paenga, Craig Allely, John Henderson, Richard Richardson
Wgtn Mike Wotherspoon, Ray Grant, Bob Yardley, Steve Todd, Mike Gill, Steve Best
Chch Bill Treliving, Tony Fleming, Robin O’Connor, Leigh Tobeck, Adrian Bound, Dave Morrison, Geoff Wilson
25 Years – Auck Anthony Parry, Tony James, Greg Smith, George Hitchings, Bruce Foster, Rupert Gamlen, Craig Connell, Alan Hall, Keith Jellard, Andrew Adams, Jackie Ferries, Greg Young, Peter Warner, Richard Were, Ian Burt, Steve Robinson
Wgtn Mike Lewin, Mark Tesoriero, Avril Miles, Tom Cormack, John Stephen, Carl Hagedorn, Steve Westerby, Chris Hillman, Terry Anderson, Mark Pigou, John McLeod
Chch Jim Dickson, Harvey Donovan, Bruce Ramsay, Brent Montford, Marilyn Walter, Tony Elliott, Peter Pearson, Roy Bullion, Peter McKay, Neville Brown, Lance Ward
20 Years – Auck Louise Allen, Nash Iswar, Linda Metcalfe, Don Manase, John Turner, Fiona Crofts, Phil Furner, Jeanette Ainsworth, Martin King, Ross Jury, Bob Wilshire, Jan Falconer Russell Pope, Lloyd Smith, John Kelly, Alan King, Teina Clarke
Wgtn Chris Hunt, Kaye Shepherd, Alun Newton, Peter Lark, Robert Ritossa
Chch Mark Cawthorn, Ross Williams, Roger Brandrick, Michael Smith, Gillian Hainsworth, Duncan McDuff, Des Erby, Richard Fastier, Shelley Morris, Joanne Colombus, Andrew Moyle
10 Years – Auck Karen Body, Mark Plant, Glenn Collings, Lynn Tanner
Wgtn John Priest, Monica Hoeg, Gillian Rigby, Denis Shum, Basil Corbett, Charles Edwards, David Radcliffe
Chch Mandy Nyhan


Bruce Smith: [Blockhouse Bay]
Senior Customs Officer
Customs Inspections Base
Mangere - Auckland

For the past 10 years Bruce Smith has been based at the Customs Inspection Base at Mangere, Auckland, where his main duties are cargo examinations. His lengthy experience as a Customs Officer covers import licensing, sales tax, Excise, distillers, and passenger processing at Auckland Airport Terminal. Bruce Smith was attracted to join HM Customs in Auckland in 1954 because of its excellent public image, career prospects, and the variety of work involved. His father advised him to join a Government Department for life time security.

Ralph McKenzie: [Pakuranga]
Senior Customs Officer
International Mail Centre
Mangere - Auckland

Ralph McKenzie joined HM Customs as a 17 year old cadet, intent on a long career in the Service. His experience as a Customs Officer covers the Auckland waterfront, Auckland Air Terminal, the introduction of International Departure Tax, and supervisory roles in sales tax, finance and credit control, and currently International Mail Centre. His memories of Customs include the variety of ships that visited Auckland such as the Canberra, Oriana, Rangitane and Rangitoto. At Auckland airport terminal in the 1970’s Customs Officers often collected more than $60,000 in duty and sales tax, during a regular eight hour shift.

Brian Redfern: [Milford]
Customs Help Desk

Brian Redfern’s annual salary when he joined Customs as a cadet at 17 years of age, was just 425 Pounds. Much of his early career was spent carrying out passenger processing, cargo clearance, and entry taking duties at Auckland Airport Terminal, and Queens Wharf. Customs Officers were always on alert for individuals attempting to smuggle into New Zealand a wide range of items including Hi Fi’ stereos, radios, cameras, cigarettes and liquor. Drug activity was rare .Brian’s currently assists small business at the Customs Help Desk. He says the smaller importers appreciate Customs expertise and personal approach.

Note: [New Zealand Customs Service was earlier known as HM Customs]


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