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Customs Minister tribute to former Comptroller

Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Minister of Customs

5 December 2007 Media Statement

Customs Minister pays tribute to former Comptroller John Belgrave

Customs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has paid tribute to Chief Ombudsman and former Comptroller of Customs, John Belgrave, who passed away this week.

“John Belgrave was Comptroller of Customs from 1985 to 1987, and during this time, oversaw the introduction of the Official Information Act into Customs, and introduced some important systems which have continued to be part of the Customs process,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

“He made a valuable contribution to the New Zealand Customs Service.”

The 67-year-old Chief Ombudsman enjoyed a diverse public service career, and lead five government agencies at various times of his career. He also served in diplomatic posts in London, Melbourne and Tokyo. He was honoured in the New Years Honours 2007, becoming a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

“His achievements with Customs included the introduction of simpler systems, which helped both importers and exporters. He also expressed a clear focus on greater reliance on intelligence work.

“He also facilitated the changes to the duty and excise system, and introduced an automated passenger processing system which was more streamlined,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

“John Belgrave was an exceptional public servant of Aotearon/New Zealand, and his contribution to New Zealand Customs Service will not be forgotten.

“As Minister of Customs, I would like to relay my sincere condolences to John’s family, and express the deep gratitude for the experience and service he gave to New Zealand Customs Service during the term he served,” said Nanaia Mahuta


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