SPCA appoints new General Manager - Inspectorate
19 August 2019
SPCA is pleased to announce the appointment of Tracy Phillips as its new General Manager - Inspectorate.
In her new role, Ms Phillips leads the 66-strong national SPCA Inspectorate team, while directing the strategic development of SPCA’s Inspectorate function to ensure compliance with, and enforcement of, the Animal Welfare Act 1999. SPCA is the only charity in New Zealand with the power to protect all animals, including prosecuting people under the Act.
The role comes naturally for Ms Phillips, whose 29-year long career in the New Zealand Police has been interwoven with four-legged friends of the canine and equine kind, in cities all over the country.
Ms Phillips joined the Police in 1990, and she was one of the first three women in New Zealand to join the canine Delta Unit in the mid-90s. Pursuing offenders from backyard to backyard, running fast and leaping fences on the way, Ms Phillips soon proved to those who believed that dog-handling wasn’t a job for women just how wrong they were. Ms Phillips says she loved the assignments she and her dog were sent on for Search and Rescue operations while with dog section in New Plymouth.
“I’d often be repelling out of a helicopter with my dog Macs strapped to the front of me, then we’d set off into the bush and find missing people. We were able to track people a few days old as their scent was trapped in the dense bush. Dogs are amazing in avalanche rescues too, as snow is such a clean field for dogs, the cone of scent coming up - they can find things in a flash,” says Ms Phillips.
An avid horse-lover, Ms Phillips was soon organising mounted horse patrols in Whanganui in the 2000s. Horses were a wonderful way to engage with the community, given that “nobody ever came up and pats your Holden”.
Ms Phillips worked as Area Commander for Whangārei and Tāmaki Makaurau for a number of years, was the force’s first Diversity Liaison Coordinator, leading the liaison between Police and Rainbow Communities. It was a combination of her humanities work at the Counties Manukau hub, internal tactical communications work, and her interfacing with Rainbow communities that earned her an MNZM in 2018. Ms Phillips finished her career in the force as Police Inspector.
In her new role as General Manager Inspectorate, Ms Phillips is looking forward to using her skills and extensive understanding of law, prosecutions, and alternative resolutions. She describes the Inspectorate body as a group of good people who she wants to ensure are supported in the critical work they do for animals. She has already started developing recruitment and retention strategies within the Inspectorate, and is incredibly impressed with the standard of prosecution files SPCA Inspectors are delivering.
“I believe in doing the right thing for the right reasons. Animals don’t have a voice. It’s about being a voice for those who have none. This new role is a huge opportunity and has plenty of challenges and I’m excited to get stuck in.”
Ms Phillips’ new appointment began on 1 July 2019.