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Comptroller of Customs and CEO Customs Service

Tuesday, 1 August 2000

Media statement from the State Services Commissioner

Appointment of Comptroller of Customs and chief executive of the New Zealand Customs Service

The State Services Commissioner, Michael Wintringham, announced today the appointment of Robin Dare as the Comptroller of Customs and chief executive of the New Zealand Customs Service. Mr Dare - who has had the role on an acting basis since the previous Comptroller resigned - is among the most experienced Customs officials in New Zealand. He has worked in Customs, in England and New Zealand, for more than 30 years.

Mr Wintringham said Mr Dare had been appointed - following a selection and appointment process as set out in section 35 of the State Sector Act - because of his extensive experience in Customs, combined with a strong background in general management.

"Mr Dare has the right combination of skills and experience to lead the country's primary border agency," Mr Wintringham said.

Mr Dare has previously been the Customs Service national manager - goods management, based in Auckland. He has held roles, in the Customs Service, in revenue, enforcement, technical services, and commercial operations, and he has extensive experience in representing New Zealand, internationally, on aspects of border control, customs, and trade. He began working for the Customs Service in 1972, after he emigrated from England.

He has a diploma in Business Administration from Victoria University of Wellington, In 1994 he attended the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme at Monash University, Melbourne. In the mid-1980s Mr Dare was seconded to the Inland Revenue Department to work on the team that managed the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST).

Mr Dare's appointment follows the resignation of the previous Comptroller and chief executive, Graeme Ludlow. Mr Ludlow was appointed to an international consultancy role midway through last year.

Mr Wintringham said he had delayed the process for making a permanent appointment at Customs, to replace Mr Ludlow, because the vacancy became apparent within a few months of the General Election, a period during which the Government defers making significant, permanent appointments. Further, the Carter review of border services - which had potential implications for the Customs Service - was underway at the time.

Mr Wintringham said that Mr Dare - who has been living in Auckland and commuting to Wellington as the acting chief executive - would move, permanently, to Wellington in the next few weeks.

The Customs Service has about 700 employees and annual revenue of $53 million. The Service is responsible for checking and clearing goods, passengers, and craft that are arriving at New Zealand's borders. The Service is also responsible for the management of the excise regime, and collecting import duties and border taxes.

Ends

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