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Good help not hard to find for NZ Customs

12 July 2006

Good help not hard to find for NZ Customs

Good help can be hard to find – but not when you have more than 2000 years' worth of collective experience to call on.

This month, 88 New Zealand Customs staff who have recently completed 10, 20, 25, 30, 40 and 45 years' service with New Zealand's oldest government department, will receive annual Long Service Awards to mark their milestones.

"My personal congratulations go to those men and women who have collectively dedicated 2,100 years of service to an important objective - protecting New Zealand's border," says Customs Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

"To put that service in perspective, some of these men and women began their Customs careers when computers hadn't been invented and transistor radios were one of the most commonly smuggled items.”

Award recipients span a range of roles, including detector dog handlers, primary processing officers and port managers. They will be recognised at ceremonies in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin throughout July.

"These dedicated people bring a rich history of knowledge and expertise to the organisation. Having such a breadth of experience and institutional understanding is a huge benefit to the Service. Their commitment to keeping our communities safe and facilitating trade and travel is something we all can be proud of."

"While the service's focus has changed since 1840 from revenue collection to border security, it still expects to collect around $9 billion dollars for the economy over the 2006/07 year - around 15% of all Crown revenue. Customs also estimates that it will process 9.35 million air passengers and crew, and more than 48 million import transactions, including mail over the 2006/07 year.

"Customs is a vital public service that helps keep communities safe by intercepting illegal drugs, other banned goods and people of interest at the border. Once again, congratulations to all award recipients. Their contributions to the safety of New Zealand and the success of the economy is a great achievement," Nanaia Mahuta says.

ENDS

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