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Mike Dickey retires after 65 years of public service

02.48pm 11 January 2023 | Social Media

After 65 years of public service, Customs’ longest serving officer and top of “dad’s army” list, Mike Dickey is retiring today.

For the last 54 years, Mike has helped protect Aotearoa New Zealand’s border and, prior to this, worked for the Royal New Zealand Navy for 11 years as an engineer, starting his public service in September 1957.

Public service runs in Mike’s e family. His father was in the Merchant Navy as a Purser (Ships Accountant) in the Union Steamship Company and Mike’s grandfather joined Customs in 1872 - one of the first of Māori descent to join Customs. He retired 43 years later after serving as the Collector of Customs in Napier – That’s a total of 97 years’ service to Customs between the two of them!

Mike started his career with Customs in 1969 as a Preventive Service Officer. Customs had advertised for marine and aircraft engineers as they wanted to start a flying squad, to join up with the current rummage squad - people that knew what they were looking at when searching ships and aircraft for uncustomed goods. Mike spent a large portion of his career working along the waterfront working his way up, where he became Chief Customs Officer (Support) at the Auckland Waterfront in 1983.

It would be easier to list what Mike hasn’t done in his more than half a century at Customs with duties as an officer on the frontline, Senior Operations Analyst, Chief Customs Officer in personnel and staff training, representing Customs in international forums, including counter-terrorism capabilities and preparedness, and most recently being an integral member of Customs’ Correspondence, Reviews and Ministerial Servicing team.

Thank you for your incredible service Mike. We wish you all the best for your well-earned retirement!