NZ Customs Service Medal

NZCS medal

Monday 5 May 2008 was an historic day for the New Zealand Customs Service. The inaugural Customs Service medal presentation ceremony took place at Parliament where Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Helen Clarke presented medals to a representative group of 17 Customs officers.

 

Over 150 people attended the ceremony, held in the Banquet Hall, including many Customs staff including the Customs Kapa Haka group, who led the singing of the New Zealand National Anthem.

 

Master of Ceremonies Terry Brown (Manager Investigations) invited the Prime Minister to make the presentation of the medals before she spoke to the guests.

The Prime Minister was impressed with the number of long-serving officers in the organisation, “It is a credit to New Zealand Customs that the service has 150 employees who have been with the organisation for more than thirty years.  This long service reflects the tremendous commitment which staff make to the organisation, and vice versa.”

The Prime Minister also spoke of the vital role Customs plays in the lives of New Zealanders and of the great importance of its duties in facilitating trade and travel, particularly since the September 11 attacks which brought new challenges to the organisation.

Helen Clark finished, “Thank you for the important work you do for New Zealand and for your commitment to the New Zealand Customs Service.”

The medal ceremony in May was the first of many, with around 300 Customs officers eligible, having given at least 14 years frontline service.

Presentations are planned for Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Tauranga and Wellington in the coming months.

Published in Customised July 2008

Images and information courtesy New Zealand Customs Service, 2011

The following article outlines the original decision to institute the medal for the New Zealand Customs by the Comptroller of Customs Martyn Dunne

nzcs_01 New Zealand Customs patch
A NZ Customs patch that has been in existence for some time. It is still worn on jackets that are issued to uniformed airport officers
nzcs_06 New Zealand Customs service patch
This patch is worn on the left breast of Customs issued overalls, in conjunction with the NZ Customs Service shoulder patches.
New Zealand New Zealand Customs Shoulder patch 2001
This is the latest shoulder patch from New Zealand Customs, with Maori writing underneath. Introduced into service late 2000 early 2001
nzcs_08 Variation of above patch, courtesy Marion McGrath, PICAA. Note the border surrounding the words New Zealand and Customs Service. These insignia came into official use effective 01 August 2005.
nzcs_02 New Zealand Customs patch
Previous style, official issue Customs patch which is still worn by some NZ Customs officers on their jackets and overalls. Rumour has it that this patch initially started off as an unofficially sanctioned patch, but was eventually accepted for official use.
nzcs_03 New Zealand Customs patch
Current issue, official patch. Worn on overalls, jackets, and wet-weather gear (this varies from work area to work area). Note: NZ Customs officers do not wear this patch on their uniform pullovers or shirts.
nzcs_rnd New Zealand Customs patch
Not much information is available on this patch, apart from that it is believed to have been in use around the 1980's, and pre-dated the arch-shaped patches. It is unknown whether this was an official or unofficial patch.
nzcs_04 Social Club dog handler patch - Version 1
This is the only dog patch from NZ Customs at the moment. It is a social club patch only and is not worn on the uniform in any way.
nzcs_05 Social Club dog handler patch - Version 2
This is the only dog patch from NZ Customs at the moment. It is a social club patch only and is not worn on the uniform in any way.
NZ_Customs_dog_section_blue_right

Variation of above patch

Image courtesy of Aaron Thornton, New Zealand

New Zealand

Prototype of above patch.

Image courtesy of Aaron Thornton, New Zealand

NZ_Customs_dog_section_black_gold

Black and gold version of New Zealand Customs Detector Dog Unit insignia

Image courtesy of Aaron Thornton, New Zealand

nzcs_k9a Official Issue New Zealand Customs Detector Dog Unit
A small drug dog unit patch worn on the left breast of the overalls that our dog handlers wear. Both this scan and the next sourced by our ever vigilant NZ collectors
New Zealand Social Club Dog Handler Patch - Version 3
Brand new, recently designed.
New Zealand Prototype of above patch, image courtesy of Aaron Thornton, New Zealand
nzcs_codt New Zealand Customs Officer Dive Team
Bloody hard patch to come by - this patch is exclusive to the members of the NZ Customs dive unit.
nzcs_k9c New Zealand Customs Canine Unit Patch
Old officially approved patch, which was worn by dog handlers until the early 90's
nzcs_weg New Zealand Customs patch
Wildlife Enforcement Group. This task force is a three man team which consists of an investigator from each of the three participating agencies - The New Zealand Customs Service, The Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The group investigates enforces the laws relating to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
NZ_Customs_operation_wilbury

Operation Wilbury Tactical Response NZ Customs

Any information about this patch??

Image courtesy of Aaron Thornton, New Zealand

HM Customs NZNew HM Customs New Zealand Wall plaque
nzcs_bdg H. M. Customs New Zealand
This particular badge is quite old and is reflected by the name - HM Customs. These used to be worn by airport and waterfront officers, and was attached to the wearer's belt. The window to the left of the badge was to cater for the Customs photo ID. These badges have mostly been phased out, but are still worn by some waterfront staff, out of tradition more than anything.
nz_bdg02 New Zealand Customs
This wallet badge consisted of a blue and gold metal plate, which was affixed inside a vinyl wallet, with the upper half of the wallet accommodating a photo ID. These were issued to all NZ Customs investigators, but were replaced in about 1997/1998 by a more modern wallet badge.
nz_bdg03 New Zealand Customs
This was introduced in about 1997/1998, and is used in the current investigator's wallet badges and also serve as a hat badge for the wide brim hats issued to uniformed officers in the inspections division. The badge has no pin or clip on the back, and is simply glued onto the wallet or hat.
nz_bdge04

New Zealand Customs
Current Issue wallet brief New Zealand Customs

 

NZ_Customs_ID_badge_2011

NEW ZEALAND CUSTOMS SERVICE IDENTIFICATION BADGE

Customs officers will be able to identify themselves to the public while acting on official business with a new Customs’ badge.

 

The badge will have a unique number specific to each officer. The number comprises: C for Customs, two figures for the year the employee started with Customs, A to L indicating the month the employee started with Customs, and a four digit number. For example, C91A3098 signifies that the badgeholder started with Customs in January (A) 1991 (91), and 3098 is their number in the badge register.

 

If an officer was to leave Customs and then return they would use the same number upon their return.

 

The wallets are designed so the officer can choose to show their photo or not.

 

The badge will be issued to staff in Airports, the National Credit Unit, Investigations & Response, and Trade & Marine in the new year. Other staff who may hold Customs’ powers and interact frequently with the public may be issued with a badge in the future.

 

The first badges were issued to the trainees who graduated in October. These sets had an interim photo card which will be replaced by the final design which has a hologram cover to reduce the risk of copying.

 

Staff who have the Investigator’s badge at present will be asked to return the older badge before being issued with the new badge.

nzcs_b0 Plain epaulette:
Originally for Primary Processing Officers at the airports and trainee Customs officers, however with the scrapping of the trainee programme, only PPO’s now wear the plain epaulettes. The have no stripes as PPO’s are staff who perform immigration and departure duties (passport control) at New Zealand’s international airports.
nzcs_b1 One stripe: Customs officer
nzcs_b2 Two stripes: Senior Customs Officer
Senior Customs Officer is a title earned more by merit than length of service. A New Zealand Customs officer usually takes a maximum of five years to reach the rank of Senior Customs Officer, however this can be achieved sooner depending on salary reviews, performance reviews, etc.
nzcs_b3 Three stripes:
In the old ranking system, three stripes denoted Supervisor. However with restructuring several years ago, the ranks of Supervisor and Senior Supervisor were removed and replaced with Team Leader. Currently officers who are second-in-charge of a team or troop (Assistant Team Leader) wear three stripes.
nzcs_b4 Four stripes: Team Leader
As previously mentioned, four stripes previously represented Senior Supervisor or the even older title of Chief Customs Officer. Four stripes now denotes the rank of Team Leader.
nz rank_slide_1_bar

Changes that came into effect 01 August 2005, have replaced the above rank insignia with naval style loops, as pictured. Images and information courtesy Russell Cummings.

 

Please see the attached PDF Document from New Zealand Customs identifying the current rank insignia, with thanks to Paul Shalley for locating.