The New Zealand Security Industry is growing

Speech at the 2019 New Zealand Security Industry Awards, Auckland, Friday 23 August 2019

Tena koutou katoa. Warm Pacific greetings to you all.

I would like to acknowledge the leadership and members of the NZSA, Sir William & Lady Judy Gallagher, the life members present, and Trish McConnell, the Private Security Personnel Licensing Authority.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to say a few words for the New Zealand Security Authority Industry Awards Dinner. I acknowledge the incredible work that goes in to providing quality security to New Zealand homes and businesses.

I thank the New Zealand Security Association for organising and hosting this wonderful event.

I particularly like to acknowledge Gary Morrison, CEO of the New Zealand Security Association. Gary was kind enough to invite me to speak here last year, and we are regularly in contact discussing the Security Industry. Gary is a strong advocate for your industry.

The NZSA has done some terrific work, and as our largest industry representative body for the security industry in New Zealand, it deserves a lot of credit for the state of the industry today.

As accredited members of the NZSA are in attendance, I would like to take a moment to mention the positive impact accreditation is having within the security industry.

Having companies that New Zealanders can trust to act with integrity and professionalism is vital, especially as New Zealanders look to guard and protect their information, property, health and wellbeing.

I would like to thank all of you as voluntary members of the NZSA – whether you serve large multi-nationals, sole traders, or providing services for private individuals looking out for their property – for your efforts at providing security and comfort to New Zealanders.

As we all know, our terrorism threat alert level was set at high due to the terrible attacks in Christchurch. Many New Zealanders would have seen police with guns outside buildings – and I suspect for the first time New Zealanders have experienced what it means to think seriously about their own security. That awful event has brought home to all New Zealanders the need to be more conscious of their own safety, their families, businesses and whanau.

And while the Government plays a vital role in ensuring our national security, our national security does not just stop at the Government. WE all have a part to play.

We have to support best practice and this is why the role of professional organisations such as the NZSA becomes vital and should be supported.

It is why I value the connection of my office and the CEO of NZSA, and his input in how the Ministry of Justice can better administer the Private Security Personnel Licensing Authority, for example.

Those working in the industry have taken upon themselves to keep others and their properties safe. It is through your professionalism in the field that provide confidence and reassurance to New Zealanders that they are safe and secure, and can have peace of mind.

I would like to also acknowledge the professionalism of the industry, which has gone from strength to strength. It is due to you. Your industry has become more professional over the past few years, despite the challenges you face every day, and while providing a wide range of important services.

The Ministry is doing a lot of work this year in terms of justice reform. Many of the people who feel crime is more prevalent, are those who are least likely to be affected by crime. We know the media plays a role in this, and there is an ongoing discussion in the media in terms of how they report on crime. We also know is that there are people out there who feel vulnerable, and people who need reassurance.

Having a security industry which is held in high regard is one way we can provide confidence and reassurances to our communities.

Last year when I spoke at your event I noted that there was an ongoing effort to increase the professionalism within your industry. That professionalism does not occur by accident.  It is created when the culture that employers and employees create is based on ethics, respect and excellence.

This Awards events also plays a vital role in highlighting and celebrating how individuals and, or companies, all contribute to building an industry that is widely respected. I acknowledge and thank everyone for your efforts.

I note that there are many challenges within the industry. It means that you must continue to innovate in the security industry and be thought leaders in helping to keep New Zealanders safe.

We know the security industry is a changing and evolving environment, whether you are in IT security, in alarm monitoring, document destruction, or manned guarding.  Being able to anticipate where our vulnerabilities lie and staying ahead of the risks is vital to ensuring New Zealanders are protected.

In my time as the Minister responsible for the Private Security Personnel and Private Investigators Act 2010, I have seen a lot of change in the industry and a lot of growth. For this reason I am confident that your industry is more than capable of meeting the challenge of becoming thought leaders, not just in New Zealand, but around the Pacific region and globally.

I would like to thank everyone for their service, and particularly offer my congratulations to the exceptional achievements of the Award recipients, and the companies that they are employed by. I also acknowledge your families and those who support each of you in your work.

I look forward to continuing our working relationship and am also interested in your thoughts on how we can grow, support and promote the industry to thrive.

Thank you again for having me here. And cheers to all the winners tonight.

No reira, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.