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Border control officials recognised

5 May 2007

Border control officials recognised

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Customs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today presented awards to seventeen long-serving members of the New Zealand Customs Service, and paid tribute to their record of service.

“The New Zealand Customs Service Medal is a new medal, only recently approved by Her Majesty the Queen. It recognises long service and good conduct by frontline officers," Helen Clark said.

“It is a credit to New Zealand Customs that it has retained so many long-serving employees. It reflects the mutual commitment that the Service and its staff make to each other, and their proud record of public service,” Helen Clark said.

Customs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said the new medal is a significant achievement for Customs, one of New Zealand's oldest government departments.

"It highlights the important work these Customs officers do," Nanaia Mahuta said.

"Some of these officers have dedicated their lives to a career with Customs. We have officers who are receiving medals for service of fifty years and more. The recognition is well-deserved.

“Two of today’s recipients, Brian Redfern and John Hopkins, have served fifty-three and fifty years respectively. Customs has more than 150 employees who have been with the organisation for more than thirty years.

“The work of Customs has evolved over 168 years. Today it not only performs its original function of revenue collection at the border, but also helps protect us from illegal importations of drugs, weapons, objectionable material and counterfeit goods, as well as facilitating trade and travel.

“Today’s ceremony will be the first of many, with more than 300 officers eligible for the award of the medal. Henceforth, this medal recognises fourteen years of frontline service and good conduct. A clasp may be added for each subsequent seven years of service, Nanaia Mahuta said.

ENDS

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