Who we are

Established in 1840, the New Zealand Customs Service is the country’s oldest government department. Our Māori name – Te Mana Ārai o Aotearoa – translates as the authority that screens and protects New Zealand.

Customs has about 1,200 staff spread around the country. We are located at all of New Zealand's international airports and ports, as well as offices in Bangkok, Beijing, Brussels, Canberra and Washington DC.

This description was last updated on: Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Detailed information related to Who we are

The Comptroller (Chief Executive) of Customs is Carolyn Tremain.

Carolyn comes to Customs from Inland Revenue where she was Deputy Commissioner Service Delivery, responsible for the frontline service delivery functions of the Department including customer operations, customer and product innovation, contact centres, audit and investigations, litigation management, and the integration of new government programmes. 

Carolyn Tremain – Download high resolution image.

This detail was last updated on Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Deputy Comptroller, Operations is Bill Perry.

Bill joined the New Zealand Customs Service in 1976. Between 1990 and 2000 Bill held various positions within Drug Investigations before being appointed Manager, Inspections in 2000. He was then appointed as Manager – Northern Ports from 2003–2006 from where he moved on to take on the role of Manager, Investigations until 2009, and was appointed Group Manager, Investigations & Response in April 2009.

Bill was appointed to his current role in August 2013.

Bill Perry – Download high resolution image.

This detail was last updated on Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The Chief Information Officer, Information Services Is Murray Young.

Murray joined the New Zealand Customs Service in April 2014 having previously held a number of CIO and other management roles in the telecommunications and government sectors. He has also spent a large proportion of his career working for supplier organisations predominantly providing services to the government sector.

As Chief Information Officer, Murray is responsible for the provision of technology and information to support the business activities of Customs and our stakeholders.

Murray Young – Download high resolution image.

This detail was last updated on Monday, 21 September 2015

The Group Manager, Finance, Strategy and Performance  (Chief Financial Officer) is Kevin Martin.

Kevin is a chartered accountant who started his career in the business services division of a large accountancy firm.

Prior to joining Customs he held senior finance roles in consultancy organisations in New Zealand and Australia where he was responsible for financial reporting and management for both local and international business units.

Kevin Martin – Download high resolution image.

This detail was last updated on Monday, 21 September 2015

Alison McDonald (OBE) currently has responsibility for the People and Capability group.

Alison also took up the role of Programme Director, Customs 2020 on 16 May 2016.

Alison joined Customs from the State Services Commission where she was the Deputy Commissioner responsible for Performance Improvement.

Before moving to New Zealand in 2013 Alison worked in the UK public service for 28 years. She originally trained as a Tax Inspector and has held a variety of large service delivery roles primarily in HM Revenue and Customs. Outside of operational delivery roles Alison has led the development of Customer Strategy and Performance improvement programmes and was responsible for UK Tax Credit and Child Benefit Policy at the inception of Universal Credit.

Alison McDonald – Download high resolution image.

This detail was last updated on Thursday, 28 July 2016

The Group Manager, Policy, Legal and Governance is Michael Papesch. He was appointed to this role on 10 August 2015.

Michael joined Customs on 2 September 2013 as the Group Manager Policy.

Michael has nearly 30 years of policy experience in the public sector, including senior roles in the Ministry of Social Development, the Department of Building and Housing, and the Treasury.

Most recently Michael was the Director of the Pike River Implementation Team at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. This team is responsible for implementing the Government’s response to the recommendations of the Pike River Royal Commission by the end of 2013. Previously Michael was the General Manager of Labour and Immigration Policy in the former Department of Labour.

Michael Papesch – Download high resolution image.

This detail was last updated on Monday, 21 September 2015

Alison McDonald (OBE) took up the role of Programme Director, Customs 2020 on 16 May 2016.

(Note: Alison also has responsibility for the People and Capability role at this time.)

Alison joined Customs from the State Services Commission where she was the Deputy Commissioner responsible for Performance Improvement.

Before moving to New Zealand in 2013 Alison worked in the UK public service for 28 years. She originally trained as a Tax Inspector and has held a variety of large service delivery roles primarily in HM Revenue and Customs. Outside of operational delivery roles Alison has led the development of Customer Strategy and Performance improvement programmes and was responsible for UK Tax Credit and Child Benefit Policy at the inception of Universal Credit.

Alison McDonald – Download high resolution image.

This detail was last updated on Thursday, 28 July 2016

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