Virtual event celebrates Security Industry Awards winners

New Zealand Security Magazine - Update

New Zealand Security Industry Awards
Behind the scenes: Te Radar MCs the New Zealand Security Industry Awards. Image: NZSA.

At the livestreamed 2020 industry awards event hosted by the NZSA, 20 award recipients were recognised for exemplifying exceptional performance and professionalism. We salute the industry’s finest for 2020!

This year, Master of Ceremonies Te Radar returned to preside over New Zealand’s security industry event of the year, delivering another memorable event livestreamed to audiences around the country (and still available for viewing via the NZSA website). In this article, we acknowledge the winners of each award category.

Cash Services Professional of the Year

This award recognises the excellence, commitment and professionalism of those working within the Cash Services sector and including those involved in providing cash-in-transit and cash-floor services. The recipient is an individual who has gone beyond what could have been expected of them in providing a level of service that exceeds the customer and/or manager’s expectations, and who inspires others within the team and sets the highest standards.

The winner of the Cash Services Professional of the Year Category is Ben Carr of Armourguard Security.

Ben has been with Armourguard for three years and as Dunedin Transport Manager he oversees cash-in-transit services for the bottom half of the South Island. He sets very high standards for his team and pushes them to promote themselves and the company whilst out in the community. 

His adaptability and willingness to cater to customers wants and needs has seen him form a great relationship with customers and internal account managers. Furthermore he has been heavily involved with Health and Safety initiatives and has driven a number of significant changes.

Communication Centre Operator of the Year

This award recognises excellence, commitment and professionalism within the Communications Centre Operator sector of the industry. The recipient will be a person who inspires others and sets incredibly high standards, and will have demonstrated a high degree of technical competence and an outstanding level of service delivery that consistently exceeds customers’ expectations.

The winner of the Communications Centre Operator of the Year is Jeremy Horne of Alarm Watch.

Jeremy has been with Alarm Watch for sixteen years. Over the years he was consistently the fastest and most productive operator in the country but as the company grew so did the number of operators around him and Jeremy focused on passing his knowledge to others so they could succeed and grow. 

Early in his career with Alarm Watch Jeremy had to overcome substantial personal issues, however he battled those courageously and became stronger from them. Jeremy has been recognised in internal company awards winning Operator of the Year in 2015, 2016 and again in 2019 but even more impressively, his peers have voted him as “The Most Helpful team Member” for the last five years in a row.

Customer Champion of the Year

This award recognises an individual in the role of Business Development Manager, Sales Consultant or Sales Manager who has demonstrated outstanding performance in their role. These roles require a high degree of operational skill and knowledge together with a demonstrated empathy towards understanding the customers business needs and meeting their required outcomes.

The recipient will have a history of developing close and long-standing relationships with their customers and be viewed as providing a substantial and quantifiable benefit to the customers business operations.

The winner of the Customer Champion of the Year is Dee Wakelin of Red Badge Group.

In early 2015 Red Badge Group engaged an external consultant to identify why the Red Security brand was struggling for traction in the wider market. A key outcome was the need for a dedicated Business Development Manager to engage with the market and break down the perception that Red Badge Group was only an event security provider.

Dee came into the role with a hospitality background and through her perseverance and bubbly, engaging personality has proven to be exactly the resource that the company required. Over the last five years she has been instrumental in securing and retaining an impressive list of customers.

The high regard in which Dee is held within her own organisation allows her to positively influence operational decisions and actions, resulting in a positive outcome for all. Dee sets a high standard for her own performance first and foremost, whilst encouraging the same in her colleagues and, in doing so, provides the support they need to achieve this.

Design and Support Electronic Sector Professional of the Year

This award recognises the excellence, commitment and professionalism of those providing design and support services to the electronic sector of the security industry. 

This award will be presented to an individual who has demonstrated not only technical expertise but also exemplary customer service and continually meets or exceeds best practice. The recipient will be a person who performs a valuable role within the business and sets very high standards.

The winner of the Design and Support Electronic Sector Professional of the Year is Matt Collins of Advanced Security Group.

Matt’s work has involved consulting with the New Zealand Defence Force around the design, build and maintenance of electronic security solutions to protect some of New Zealand’s most critical assets. These solutions have been deployed across the whole of the New Zealand Defence Force portfolio including Air Force, Navy, Army and Ministry of Defence special projects.

The New Zealand Defence Force commented that “Matt is a valued member of our project planning, project delivery and most importantly business continuity. He makes a point to know our base and camp systems, our people and management support agencies. He has the knowledge by getting involved and understanding the plethora of some 350 plus systems coupled with gaining our trust which has made him invaluable to include in stakeholder meetings when developing upgrades to other parts of our business”.

Electronic Sector Trainee of the Year

This award recognises an individual who has made outstanding progress in professional development and training for their role in the electronic sector of the security industry. They will have displayed commitment towards training and achieving results through the NZQA national qualification framework, and will be a person who inspires others and always leads by example

The winner of the Electronic Sector Trainee of the Year category is Mikee McLeod of Advanced Security Group.

Mikee has shown commitment to his ongoing personal development and this has seen him being diligent in the completion of his qualification and submitting his work on time and to a high standard. 

He has gained the respect of his seniors by demonstrating a willingness to learn and being a positive member of the team. He has developed so quickly he is now running his own projects and has been completing high quality installations for access control and CCTV solutions for corporate and government clients.

Guarding Sector Trainee of the Year Award

This award recognises an individual who has made outstanding progress in professional development and training for their role in the guarding sector of the security industry. They will have displayed commitment towards training and achieving results through the NZQA national qualification framework, and will be a person who inspires others and leads by example.

The winner of the Guarding Sector Trainee of the Year Award is Vicky Roberts of Red Badge Group.

Vicky has worked in her role as Operations Manager for Red Badge in Christchurch since May 2017. She has completed her National Certificate in Security Level 2 whilst juggling her fulltime role and acting as a volunteer firefighter for the Leeston Volunteer Fire Brigade. She is passionate about upskilling herself and her team and absolutely leads by example.

Install and Service Electronic Sector (Corporate) Technician of the Year

This award is specific to larger corporates who have in excess of five technicians in their employment and recognises excellence, commitment and professionalism of those operating as Security Technicians and providing installation and/or service duties. 

This award will be presented to an individual who has demonstrated not only technical expertise but also exemplary customer service and continually meets or exceeds best practice, performing a valuable role within the business and setting high standards.

The winner of the Install and Service Electronic Sector (Corporate) Technician of the Year is Blair Courtier of Advanced Security Group.

Blair has been involved as lead technician on a large number of significant installations in the government and corporate sector space, including major works for the New Zealand Defence Force and a significant upgrade for Wellington International Airport Limited. He has regularly worked extended hours, including nights and weekends to meet critical timelines and to get project work completed on time.

Due to his ability, Blair has often found himself at the forefront of large and technical projects that he embraces wholeheartedly. 

Install and Service Electronic Sector (Small to Medium) Technician of the Year

This award is specific to SMEs with five or less technicians in their employment and recognises excellence, commitment and professionalism for those operating as Security Technicians and providing installation and/or service duties. 

This award will be presented to an individual who has demonstrated not only technical expertise but also exemplary customer service and continually meets or exceeds industry best practice, performing a valuable role within the business and setting high standards.

The winner of the Install and Service Electronic Sector (Small to Medium Enterprise) Technician of the Year is Zane Stephenson of Alliance Fire and Security.

Zane is an amazing young technician and his analytical mind and attention to detail have seen him rise to being one of Alliance’s leading technicians. He has been across many projects for his employer delivering a high level of quality and customer assurance as well as being a skilled service technician. He consistently exceeds expectations and demonstrates a high level of work ethics – he has a bright future in the industry.

Michael Pepper Award for Outstanding Security Training Initiative

The NZSA is proud to present this award in honour of Michael Pepper who passed away earlier this year. Michael was instrumental in lifting standards in the security industry in New Zealand, including the promotion of improved industry training initiatives.

This award recognises the organisation that has made a difference to improving the uptake and outcomes of industry training through the introduction and support of innovative and effective security training initiatives. The recipient will have demonstrated a commitment towards enabling staff to use the NZQA national qualification framework as a means towards personal and professional development and growth and in achieving positive outcomes.

The winner of the Michael Pepper Award for the Outstanding Security Training Initiative is Hard Target.

During the Covid-19 lockdown the ability for learners to continue their mandatory training was severely impacted. Hard Target filmed and put together a comprehensive training package infusing Unit Standard 27360 underpinning knowledge into the Unit Standard 27361 course work. 

The training was in a modular format and with candidates having to successfully answer questions for each module before progressing to the next. The training was made available to all learners at no cost during Covid level 4 to level 2 and resulted in 413 completions during the 6-week period.

Outstanding New Product or Service

This award recognises an organisation that has locally developed and delivered technical innovation and excellence within the security sector. The product or service will have been developed in New Zealand and be recognised as ‘best in field’ and ‘market leading’ and will provide clear differentiation over competitor offerings.

The winner of the Outstanding New Product or Service is Gallagher for its Proximity and Contact Tracing Report.

In the current pandemic-climate, the health and safety of colleagues, customers, visitors and contractors is at the forefront of business considerations. Responding to the crisis of Covid-19, Gallagher released the innovative Proximity and Contact Training Report in May of this year.

Designed by Gallagher’s team in Hamilton, it enables organisations to quickly and accurately identify areas where a specified cardholder has been on site. At the same time it identifies all other cardholders who shared these areas and therefore may have an elevated risk of infection via direct physical contact, surface contact, or being within close proximity of the infected cardholder.

Outstanding Skills for Industry Employee of the Year

This award recognises an individual who has gained full-time employment through the MSD/NZSA Skills for Industry programme and has excelled in their role. The recipient will have displayed those attributes valued by employers and have identified themselves as deserving of a long-term career in the security industry.

The winner of the Outstanding Skills for Industry Employee of the Year is Knikita Tarawa of Red Badge Group.

Knikita joined Red Badge Group in November 2019 working in the Botany Town Centre Security Team, and it didn’t take long to prove herself. Her punctuality, attention to detail, reliability, willingness to learn and high standards are all attributes that have seen her being rostered as second in charge on a regular basis. 

She has built strong relationships and ensures open communications with her Team Leader, Botany Management and retailers and her employer has no doubt that she has a very positive future in the guarding sector.

Outstanding Staff Retention or Staff Development Programme

This award celebrates an organisation that has implemented a staff retention or development- based programme that has delivered quantifiable and measurable outcomes and placed that organisation as both a preferred employer and provider for customers. The initiative will have become embedded in the culture and operations of the organisation and provides clear differentiation over other providers.

The winner of Outstanding Staff Retention or Staff Development Programme is Advanced Security Group.

This award recognises the Advanced Security Group Internal Leadership Training Programme and Level one, two and three leadership training modules. The modules cover a range of operational and leadership training topics and help staff to improve understanding of the group strategies and ethos.

There is clear evidence of staff development and career pathway opportunities directly attributable to the programme and has seen a number of the senior team come from roles within the organisation.

Patrol Officer of the Year

This award recognises excellence, commitment and professionalism within the Patrolling sector of the industry, including service to customers and outstanding acts. 

The award will be presented to the individual that has gone beyond what could have been expected of them in providing a level of service that exceeds the customers and/or managers expectations. The recipient will be a person who inspires others within the team and sets high standards.

The winner of the Patrol Officer of the Year category is Michael McCormack of Matrix Security Group.

Michael commenced employment with Matrix in August 2019 and is the principal Patrol Officer for Cornwall Park. During his time in the role Michael has responded to, and managed, many emergency services incidents whilst on shift and often as the Cornwall Park sole responder. 

In one instance Michael assisted an elderly gentleman who had suffered injuries from a fall and provided vital care until an ambulance arrived. 

Early this year he intervened in an event where a female was severely injured with knife wounds from an attempted suicide. Michael quickly requested emergency service attendance and then got inside the female’s vehicle, removed the Stanley knife from her possession, and wrapped his arms around her to prevent further self-harm.

His employer commends his empathy and concern for the patrons of Cornwall Park and his overall work ethic, dedication and attitude.

Security Administrator of the Year

This award recognises excellence, commitment and professionalism for those who provide the vital administrative functions that support every business. The individual will have exhibited not only excellent technical skills but also outstanding customer service, high levels of innovation and superb time management. The recipient will be widely respected and valued as a critical cog in the success of the organisation.

The winner of the Security Administrator of the Year category is Sabrina Crowe from Red Badge Group.

Sabrina has been with Red Badge Group for two and a half years and is responsible for the administration of all six company offices between Auckland and Dunedin. She is constantly innovating and streamlining the way things are done, including creating new methods for data management and stock control. 

She is also described as ‘The Master of Filing’ and has stepped up the company’s Green Planet program with recycling, reduction of wastepaper and cloud storage reducing paper and space.

Security Consultant of the Year

This award recognises the Security Consultant who has demonstrated outstanding performance in their role. Consultants often play a key role in offering expertise and insight that can transform the quality and effectiveness of service, product or system that is offered. 

The award recognises the existence of a distinct skill set and crucially, the way it is harnessed and managed, to make a substantial and quantifiable difference to the security strategy and/or practice of their customers. The recipient will be a strong proponent for industry best practice, will be suitably qualified and experienced and be a person who inspires others and sets incredibly high standards.

The winner of the Security Consultant of the Year category is Andy Gollings of Red Badge Group.

Andy is a strong proponent for industry best practice. He is currently serving as Deputy Chair of ASIS International New Zealand Chapter as well as Chair for the NZSA Special Interest Group leading the development of the new security industry NZQA qualifications.

This award recognises the work by Andy in developing a self-assessment tool for the event and venue sector following the March 15th attacks in Christchurch. The tool-kit was designed to help event professionals understand the security threats specific to their event or venue, containing mitigation strategies, a self-assessment tool, summary of self-assessment, and a good practice guide.

This was not a Red Badge Group project but rather Andy working on his own initiative for the betterment of event and venue providers in New Zealand and to keep our people safe and secure.

Security Integrator of the Year

This award recognises an individual or organisation who has embraced the role of integrators in bringing together security subsystems into a whole and ensuring those systems function together effectively. 

The recipient will have demonstrated technical expertise, sound knowledge of security risk and needs assessments, exemplary customer service and consistently delivers a physical security programme that is supportive of a healthy enterprise.

The winner of the Security Integrator of the Year category is Mark Chessum of Advanced Security Group.

Mark has been in the security industry for 20 years and joined Advanced Security in 2013. His technical skills see him as an expert in most platforms and he has the technical capability to problem solve and support junior team members on these systems and to help them improve their own skills and knowledge. 

Mark has been instrumental in Advanced’s relationship with NZTA where the CCTV systems installed are being created into an overall system. Feedback from the customer states “Mark is a fantastic subject matter expert to work with on the system and has been a key person in ensuring a reliable and efficient service”

Security Officer of the Year

This award recognises excellence, commitment and professionalism within the guarding sector, including service to customers and outstanding acts. The award will be presented to an individual who has gone beyond what can reasonably be expected of them in providing a level of service that exceeds the customers and/or managers expectations, inspiring others and setting high standards.

The judges have commented that there was a significant number of quality nominations in this category and that the final scoring was very close.

The winner of the Security Officer of the Year category is Anton Kritzinger of Armourguard Security.

Anton is the consummate security professional and sets the standard for guarding in New Zealand. And whilst this award reflects Anton’s day to day performance, it also acknowledges his actions in response to an incident that occurred at an Auckland Transport bus station. 

As a group of youths exited a bus, one of the group became very aggressive towards the guards and patrons, and started throwing shopping trolleys onto the road and damaging the bus shelter.

When asked to leave, the offender turned his attention to Anton and began moving towards him in a threatening manner. Anton kept his distance, stayed calm and tried to de-escalate the situation.

The offender then boarded a bus parked at the station and created a disturbance before threatening the driver. At this time Anton used force to restrain and detain the individual whilst waiting for police attendance. The offender was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, including spitting on Anton.

Given Covid-19, Anton was tested and cleared of the virus before returning to work. Anton was also the recipient of one of the NZSA Covid-19 Guardian Awards earlier this year for his outstanding efforts.

Security Supervisor/Operations Manager of the Year

The Security Supervisor or Operations Manager of the Year recognises those who through technical expertise, operational knowledge, customer service and skilful and innovative leadership, ensure the delivery of services that consistently exceed customer expectations. 

Security Supervisors and Operations Managers provide a critical function ensuring service delivery and the recipient will be an inspirational leader and innovator, team focused and committed to delivering exceptional service on a 24×7 basis.

The judges have noted that this category had a significant number of high calibre nominations and that the final judging was extremely close.

The winner of the Security Supervisor/Operations Manager of the Year is Simon Ward of Red Badge Group.

Simon has been in the security industry for three years. Originally from a sport coaching and project management role in the IT industry, Simon was looking for an industry and role that had more variety and the opportunity to utilise all his skillsets daily. He found the challenge he was after and now runs the Red Badge security team at New Zealand’s largest high-end retail shopping precinct, Westfield Newmarket. 

Simon and his team’s customer-service focus ensure the customer experience is at the forefront of everything they do. The customer has provided glowing referrals and states that through Simon’s efforts, the Red Badge team is not just a contractor but an integral part of the Westfield Newmarket team.

Security Trainer or Workplace Assessor of the Year

This award celebrates those who have made a difference to improving security practice via training and recognises the individual who has consistently promoted outstanding performance and produced quantifiable results that have benefitted the organisation and its workers and customers.

The winner of the Security Trainer or Workplace Assessor of the Year is Jeremy Peake of Advanced Security Group.

Jeremy is a Skills NZ Assessor and supports the trainees in his region who are working towards the Level 3 electronic security certification. He engages with the trainees frequently, offering support and mentoring, and ensures that they are progressing through their training. 

Jeremy not only helps trainees learn and grow in the industry, he also runs regular monthly in-house training sessions to help his peers in their development and in ensuring improved customer outcomes.

Visionary Leadership Award

This award recognises an individual or organisation that has demonstrated bold and visionary leadership and created a differentiation in the market-place between themselves and other competing service providers. The leadership of the organisation will be closely aligned with the vision, mission and values of the organisation and will be strongly embedded in all interactions with staff, customers and the wider public.

The winner of the Visionary Leadership Award is Hayden George from Advanced Security Group.

One of Hayden’s work colleagues provided the following endorsement:

“I report to Hayden who is the epitome of a Visionary Leader as our GM. Hayden is always available and has a very clear direction of where the organisation is going and how we are going to get there which comes across in every interaction that we have either one-on-one, internally with staff; at management meetings or externally when meeting with clients; current or future.

“He has the core company values in mind every time we talk business and every time we interact, I learn something new. For me this is invaluable, and it gives me the utmost confidence in the company and our future in the industry and I hope that one day I can be perceived as half the manager and visionary leader that he is.”

Covid-19 Guardian Awards

During the COVID-19 lockdown period, the NZSA introduced a special weekly award known as the Covid-19 Guardian Awards to celebrate and recognise the fantastic efforts of our essential service workers.

The five recipients of the Covid-19 Guardian Awards were:

  • Marcus Hendriksen, Allied Security
  • Pakuranga Plaza Security Team, Guardforce Security – Lutelo Hausia, Kelemete Makalio, Mark Tavoi Solomona, Meketi Siliva and Phillip Lova 
  • Miranda Clark and Bryan Keightley, Aegis Private Security
  • Anton Kritzinger, Armourguard Security
  • Keisha Rihari, FIRST Security

Ian Dick Memorial Award for Security Professional of the Year

This award celebrates the contribution of Ian Dick, a stalwart of the security industry and a significant contributor to improved training and standards across all facets of the security industry, and recognises the individual who has scored highest across all categories and is recognised as the Supreme Award Winner and Security Professional of the Year.

The winner was announced by Sir William Gallagher. “It’s an honour to be presenting the prestigious Ian Dick Memorial Award for Security Professional of the Year,” stated Sir William.

“The recipient of this year’s award had multiple letters of recommendation sent in, all highly praising his fantastic work ethic, incredible knowledge, and outstanding service.

Accolades flooded in from customers and colleagues alike, who spoke highly of their interactions with him and the time and care he dedicates to each customer. 

“Described as always professional, polite, efficient, and trustworthy, he is known by name and reputation by almost every bureau he works with. His enthusiasm for his work hasn’t waned, even after 16 years on the job.

“A true team player, he makes it his goal to absorb knowledge and impart this on others to help them succeed. He has selflessly devoted himself to improving the work ethic and skills of those around him by teaching others to find passion in their work, and to never stop reaching to upskill and learn new things. 

“Such high praise and dedication cannot be overlooked, and so it gives me great pleasure to announce the recipient of the 2020 Security Professional of the Year is Jeremy Horne of Alarm Watch.”

Defsec Media, the publisher of New Zealand Security Magazine, is a proud sponsor of the New Zealand Security Industry Awards.

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