NZSA announces fourth Covid-19 Guardian Award

New Zealand Security Magazine - 02 June 2020 Update

Anton Kritzinger
Award winner Anton Kritzinger of Armourguard. Image: NZSA.

New Zealand Security Association announces fourth Covid-19 Guardian Award winner as Anton Kritzinger from Armourguard.

Anton will receive his award for his actions in diffusing a potentially dangerous situation on an Auckland bus during Covid-19 Level 4 lockdown. The nomination from his employer highlighted how good training and a calm demeanour are essential for security guards undertaking their work. 

“Anton’s selfless actions protected a bus driver from a violent male member of the public,” stated the nomination. “Both ATOC and GO Bus complimented Anton on his efforts to try and calm down the individual concerned, and to deescalate the situation. When Anton realised the male was likely to harm the driver he stepped forward and placed himself between the aggressor and the driver to act as a shield.

“The aggressor then spat at Anton, but he did not think of himself and controlled the male and the situation until police arrived on site. Even though we were high on Covid-19 alert, Anton did not think of himself only the safety of the driver and maintaining his professional approach. After the incident was resolved, Anton contacted Healthline and (was) thankfully cleared to return to work. The incident was also acknowledged by AT Chief Executive Shane Allison.” 

Allen McKinley, Armourguard’s Operations Controller said Anton’s leadership and attention to safety has been exemplary. “He has set a new level of professionalism with his selflessness and care of others that instils confidence within his peers. His actions and maturity set a high benchmark for our Guards Division,” noted Allen.

According to NZSA CEO Gary Morrison, “All security personnel holding a CoA (Certificate of Approval) / licence are required to undergo de-escalation training, and this is why. Situations such as the one Anton faced can very quickly turn to violence but the training gives them the tools to control the situation while keeping the public and workers, such as the bus driver, safe.

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“No one wants to go to work and face this type of situation but licenced security guards are taught how to ensure that this is not the case. Anton’s actions are a first-class example of that training being put into effect and we congratulate him on his actions and are very happy that he was cleared of any infection and has returned to service.”

A CoA / licence is mandatory for anyone working in the security industry in New Zealand. They are issued by the PSPLA (Private Security Personnel Licensing Authority), part of the Ministry of Justice.

The NZSA introduced the Covid-19 Guardian Award as a way in which the wider community can recognise and say thanks to security personnel for their efforts. With over 25,000 New Zealanders working in the security industry, nearly double the number of police, private security has always had a critical role in keeping Kiwis and their property safe, especially during times of crisis.

The campaign calls on the public, business owners and other essential services who have used private guards to nominate individuals who have gone above and beyond or simply have been a reassuring, kind and considerate face during these testing times. 

A web form has been established on the NZSA website where nominations can be made including a place to upload photos or videos of guards doing a great job:

The NZSA aims to award one guard a week with a special trophy in the lead up to the annual New Zealand Security Awards nomination period starting in late May. The awards are not just for member companies – anyone with a CoA /licence can be nominated.