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Customs Detector Dog Handlers

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

Work with a four-legged partneragainst crime

We're looking for two new Detector Dog Handlers, one based in Auckland and the other in Christchurch, to join New Zealand Customs Service's high performing Detector Dog team, protecting New Zealand's border by helping prevent cross-border crime.

You'll be responsible for training a detector dog to identify and intercept illicit items, and you'll be accountable for the dog's welfare. You'll be part of a team with an international reputation for being at the top of their field, so a background in professional dog handling or training would be ideal.

You'll work with your dog to safely search aircraft, people, ships, goods and premises - to detect, identify, and seize smuggled drugs and cash. In addition to making operational decisions about the best use of your dog, you must be able to identify, manage and modify canine behavioural issues. You should be comfortable undertaking public engagement activities, such as DARE talks and Dog Squad/Border Patrol filming.

You'll need to have a well-fenced property where you can safely and securely kennel your dog at home. When fellow handlers are on leave, you may be asked to care for a second dog. If you're already a dog owner, please be aware that Customs service dogs cannot be housed at a property with other dogs, unless those dogs are non-aggressive, retired service dogs suited to sharing their space.

These roles will start early in the new year.

Passion and flexibility required

This is not a nine-to-five job. You'll work on a roster, which means weekend work and odd hours when required. You will need to be prepared to frequently travel away from home, often at short notice. We understand the importance of life outside of work. We'll work with you to provide flexibility where we can, and support your work life balance.

We'll train you for the job

We'll give you the training you need for the job. Successful applicants must complete a three-and-a-half month residential detector dog training course, and pass NZ Police Dog Training certification. The course is in Auckland. If you're based in Christchurch, we'll support you to return home on days off wherever possible.


You'll be asked to complete a physical fitness test, medical check, and drug screening, as well as security checks for Confidential level national security clearance. To achieve Confidential level clearance, you must be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident who has resided in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom or the United States continuously for the last 10 years. We'll guide you through the process.

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. We also support, where possible, flexible working arrangements.

Apply now

Click on the apply button below to submit your application.

For more information please contact

Applications close at 11am on Monday 23 September 2019

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