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NZSA Highlights The Dedication The Industry Has Shown To Help NZ Through Tough Times & The Risks They Face Daily

With over 25,000 New Zealanders working in the industry, nearly double the police force, security provides a valuable service, especially in times like we have seen recently.

The New Zealand Security Awards have been rolled out as a virtual event this week and the winners show how everyday New Zealanders have been stepping up to keep New Zealand safe.

As Minister Sio said in his video to launch the awards “I want to acknowledge your outstanding service delivery in the past year or so as you have continued to serve your communities throughout the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Frontline security workers have faced numerous challenges in the last 18 months as they have helped keep New Zealanders safe at work, while shopping and at testing and vaccination centres.

Many stories have shown the type of challenges they face:

This week the industry has taken the chance to celebrate their best and brightest.

The awards were originally planned to be held in Christchurch on August 20 but were cancelled when New Zealand went to level 4 lockdown just three days before. The small NZSA team of just four people quickly pivoted and have used their original MC, Doug Kamo, to deliver the winner announcements via video over the week of September 20 to 24 at 10.30am daily, with the Security Professional of the Year being announced at 3pm on Friday September 24.

Winners range from industry thought leaders with decades of experience to new recruits in their first year or so of work. Each has demonstrated outstanding customer service, technical skills and bravery to win their awards.

Examples include:

Alexandra Kemp – Matrix Security: Outstanding Skills for Industry Employee of the Year.

The Skills for Industry program targets people in who have been on an unemployment benefit and with the help of the MSD and NZSA have secured full time employment. Alexandra only started with Matrix Security in October 2020 and as one of the youngest on their team has shown great aptitude. The award highlights how she used verbal skills to diffuse a potentially violent situation while patrolling a school late at night when she confronted three men in hoodies and balaclavas.

Alexandra Couprie and Kelly Waru - Secom Guardall: New Zealand Communication Centre Operator of the Year:

This award recognises a high degree of technical competence and an outstanding level of service delivery that consistently exceeds customers expectations.

Whilst the nomination received commented on the exceptional commitment and professionalism of both Alexandra Louise and Kelly, it also referred specifically to an incident involving a break-in at a high value and high-risk customer who had previously been targeted by organised crime syndicates.

On identifying the activation and observing on-site cameras, the monitoring team worked cohesively in co-ordinating the attendance of patrol officers and police and also liased with relevant keyholders and internal management to ensure all parties were fully briefed and appraised of developments as they occurred. As a result of their actions and ability to think outside of the square, the offenders were contained within the site and were apprehended by the police. The customer commented on the outstanding actions by the Secom team.

Marishka Wallace – First Security Guard Services Ltd: Patrol Officer of the Year

This award recognises excellence, commitment and professionalism within the patrolling sector of the industry, including service to customers and outstanding acts.

Whilst described as the consummate Patrol Officer, the nomination for Marishka also highlighted a number of outstanding acts, one of which saw her presented an award by Timberlands (and supported by the Police Rotorua District Commander) for her outstanding commitment and dedication to protecting others in the forest. The Timberlands manager states that “in an exceptionally vulnerable and dangerous event (which included her vehicle being repeatedly shot at), she remained calm, collected and in control of the situation. Thankfully neither Marishka nor the other officer on duty with her were injured during this encounter. Luckily, she was able to keep her wits about her and with proficient driving skills managed to escape the gunman. The outcome could have been significantly worse if the situation hadn’t been handled so well. A very brave, professional and intuitive individual”.

More Examples

These are just a few examples of the types of New Zealanders being recognised this week. There are many more.

About the NZSA:

The New Zealand Security Association (NZSA) is the largest industry representative body for the security industry in New Zealand and represents over 85% of the industry by revenue. Its voluntary members include security providers ranging from large multi-nationals to sole traders and also includes individuals and companies who are not direct providers of security services but have an interest in the industry.

As the voice of the New Zealand Security Industry the NZSA aims to support and promote a thriving security industry in New Zealand that operates professionally and ethically, is committed to the safety of its workers and continuous improvement, meets the needs of its stakeholders and provides reward, opportunity and personal development for those who work within it.

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