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The New Zealand Customs Service: recruitment, selection and integrity 2005-35.1

4 October 2005



“Corrupt Customs Officer Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison” read the New Zealand Herald headline on 14 January 2004. The previous July, Tori Puata, an acting Team Leader at Auckland International Airport, had admitted helping a drug syndicate smuggle hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of crystal methamphetamine into New Zealand. Puata’s arrest, conviction and sentencing had focused media attention Customs, which was about to recruit more than 200 people nationwide including over 100 for Auckland Airport. The Puata case accentuated the need to reinforce and instil a culture of integrity. Managing risk was Customs’ core business, but now managers had to handle risk within their ranks.

This case could be used by a change management, leadership or HR tutor as an example of issues around staffing, integrity, change and growth, values and public sector culture.

Authors: Teresa Platt
Published Date: 4 October 2005
Author Institution: Victoria University of Wellington
Featured Content Length: 2
Content Length: 9
Product Type: Case with teaching note, One-part case, Primary resources