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Customs staff recognised for public service excellence

04.21pm 09 November 2022 | Social Media


This week, three individuals from the Customs whānau were recognised with Te Tohu Ratonga Tūmatanui o Aotearoa The New Zealand Public Service Medal for outstanding public service.

Terry Brown, Group Manager, Intelligence Investigations and Enforcement, was recognised for his dedication to the safety of New Zealanders. His tireless commitment to lead and support the design and implementation of air border systems allowed our country to reopen safely while protecting us from COVID-19.

Terry says “I think the highlights for me were working with a committed and dedicated group of officers across Customs, and the benefits accrued from working collegially and cooperatively with other agencies and the commercial sector.  In particular, I found the aviation industry players – airports, airlines and industry representatives – to be adaptable and willing participants in solutionising, and I greatly enjoyed this stakeholder engagement.”

Robby Smith, Group Manager Maritime, was recognised with Te Tohu Ratonga TÅ«matanui o Aotearoa The New Zealand Public Service Medal for outstanding public service for his tireless service to ensure New Zealand’s maritime border is kept safe from COVID-19.

Robby says, "On reflection, I feel very privileged to have worked alongside such great people that were absolutely dedicated to keeping our country, communities and people safe. Receiving such an honour was completely unexpected as I know many who are deserving of such an award. When duty called, they not only stood up but ran towards the fight not knowing what lay before them. This dedication to service is the reason I joined the public sector and come to work every day."

Steve Waugh, Manager Auckland Airport was recognised earlier this week with Te Tohu Ratonga TÅ«matanui o Aotearoa The New Zealand Public Service Medal for outstanding public service for his commitment to serving Aotearoa New Zealand and protecting its border.

Steve says “There are two things I have enjoyed as a public servant. The first is the why in my work.  I have been lucky enough to serve the community through three Government Departments, New Zealand Police, Department of Internal Affairs, and New Zealand Customs Service.  In each role I have held, I can align the work I have done to what drives me in my work, a safer and better environment for my community and my family.  Work at Customs is no different through work protecting the air, maritime and cyber borders. The second is the people.  In everything I have done as a public servant, I have had the pleasure of working with so many great and skilled people.  Whether it’s the thrill of the chase in pursuing offenders, protecting children from online predators, or protecting the maritime or air border and the community from the risk of COVID-19, it is a team that succeeds.  And any recognition to an individual is recognition to the team they are a part of.”

Read more about the recipients and the Awards on the Public Service Commission website.