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Customs Officers Celebrate 1650 Years NZ Service

Customs Officers Celebrate 1650 Years Service to NZ

Many of New Zealand’s Customs officers are celebrating 1650 combined years of service around the country this week.

In functions in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch beginning today, 57 Customs staff will be recognised for their long and dutiful service, achieving service milestones of between 10 and 45 years each.

According to State Services Commission data, 52 per cent of all NZ Customs Service staff have served 10 or more years compared to 32 per cent as the average across all New Zealand’s government departments.

“I’m proud of these men and women and the fact that the New Zealand Customs Service enjoys one of the highest long service and retention rates in the public sector is a tribute to their commitment to looking after New Zealanders’ interests, said New Zealand Customs Service Comptroller Robin Dare, a Customs officer himself for 39 years.

“With the success of television programmes like Border Patrol, partnership programmes with industry and the one-on-one interaction the public have with staff generally, our officers are central to the high esteem in which the public holds the Service.*

“This year’s Budget has allocated funding to enable an increase of 20 per cent in our staff levels over the next two years and this will greatly enhance our capabilities. As a Service we are looking forward to going from strength to strength,” Mr Dare said.

Napier Operations Manager Cyril Wilson is one of the longest-serving officers still in the Service who will be honoured this week. Mr Wilson joined the New Zealand Customs Department in 1958 and says that he gets a huge amount of satisfaction out of helping local business and members of the public.

“Even after 45 years I still enjoy what I am doing – the variety of tasks and the knowledge that every day is going to be different. I particularly enjoy the public interaction and being able to provide answers and assistance to my community,” Mr Wilson said.

“Despite the reliance now placed on computer systems to guide us, we are still required to undertake active tasks on the ‘front line’ such as the examination of cargo and searching of ships in port for contraband such as drugs, weapons and stowaways. It is this array of tasks that keeps us all together working as a team and enjoying the challenges that we face each day,” Mr Wilson said.

*According to a 2002 UMR Insight poll among the travelling public, 94 percent were generally satisfied with the services they personally received from the New Zealand Customs Service, while 93 percent of commercial clients were generally satisfied.


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