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Customs Detector Dogs Trainer (Christchurch)

New Zealand Customs Service
Job Category:
Defence, corrections & security
Canterbury - Christchurch
Job Type:
Ongoing - Full Time
Posted Date:
Closing Date:
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Job Description

Be part of the team training our drug and cash detector dogs. 

New Zealand Customs Service | Te Mana Ārai o Aotearoa protects and promotes Aotearoa New Zealand through world class border management. Customs has a large programme of work underway targeting transnational organised crime from overseas sources to our front line. This role supports keeping illicit drugs, and the harm they cause in our communities, out of New Zealand.

We're looking for a new Detector Dog Trainer who ideally has a background in professional dog handling or training to join our high performing Detector Dog team, protecting New Zealand's border by helping to stop illegal drugs and cash being smuggled into the country.

You'll be part of a team that have a reputation internationally for being at the top of their field in their methodologies of delivering training to drug and cash detector dogs and handlers. You'll travel regularly (nationally and internationally), delivering training, selecting new detector dogs, and in an advisory capacity to other countries.

Once in the role, you would begin a process to become a certified trainer. This can take between 3-5 years depending on your skill level and experience. You will be required to attend a number of the three month long residential programmes that are run for new dog teams. This is a significant commitment, as these programmes are primarily run in Auckland, so will require extended periods of time away from home. It could be up to four months out of a year that you would be required in Auckland until you are certified. There will be opportunities to return home for some weekends.

Your home base will be a purpose-built facility near Christchurch Airport, and you will typically work regular hours Monday to Friday, although weekend work and longer hours are sometimes required. Where possible, you will be advised in advance so you can plan around it.

You'll support the wider team by taking dogs home with you at times - so you'll need to have a well-fenced property to kennel them at home which is safe and secure. You'll need to be aware of Customs policy that only retired, non-aggressive service dogs may be housed at your property.

You are organised and you love solving problems and managing risks. You are approachable, supportive and willing to help. You are comfortable making decisions under pressure with your team's wellbeing in mind. You remain calm and level-headed in stressful situations, and able to deal with conflict. As a technical leader, you'll need to be confident creating and reviewing processes, planning resources, and contributing to the development of the team. You will foster open, trust-based relationships and model the integrity and discretion expected of all team members.

We value diversity and flexibility in our team. You care about building diversity and you support your team members to balance work with other commitments.

The recruitment process

If you are shortlisted, we will invite you to a practical assessment which will be held in Christchurch on Wednesday 4 September, 2019. If you pass the practical assessment, you will then be invited to an interview on Thursday 5 September 2019.

As you move through the recruitment process, you'll be provided with information about what comes next, so you know what to expect.

Working at Customs

Customs offers a dynamic and collaborative workplace with opportunities to develop and advance. Our people get on-the-job training, formal courses and leadership programmes, and the chance to move across diverse roles. We foster an inclusive and supportive team environment with vibrant social and cultural groups. Our people enjoy discounted health insurance and free on-site gyms (in some locations). We also support flexible working arrangements.

Apply now

To apply, please submit a cover letter clearly describing your motivation for applying for this role, along with your CV which states your qualifications and work history, outlining your key work achievements.

Please follow the link to our online application process.

For more information on the recruitment process, contact

Deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 21 July, 2019.

New Zealand Customs Service | Te Mana Ārai o Aotearoa is a member of Diversity Works New Zealand and is committed to developing a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace.  We provide equal employment opportunities and welcome applications from everyone who can meet the requirements of the role.

If you have an interest in becoming a Detector Dog Handler (as opposed to a Trainer) please keep an eye on our vacancies or email with your name and contact details, and we can advise you when Handler roles are advertised.



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