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Cliff Johns

Supervising Customs Officer, NZ Customs Service

As a Supervising Customs Officer, Cliff is part of the front line keeping our airport, planes, people and country safe. With nearly two decades’ experience with the service, he can safely report that no two days have been the same!

How long have you been with the New Zealand Customs Service? I’ve been with the service for 19 years. I started in 2004 at Auckland Airport, moved to Christchurch the following year, and also spent 18 months at Queenstown Airport 2008 to 2009.

What’s your role? I’m the team leader of one of the six airport teams.

What do you love most about your job? I enjoy the opportunity to guide and support staff to achieve their career goals. It’s rewarding to watch and support people to grow.

What do you enjoy about being based at the airport? The airport is an interesting and exciting place to work, and every day is different.

Coolest project you’ve ever worked on? I’ve had interesting and exciting experiences while working for Customs. They include executing search warrants, inshore patrols with the NZ Police vessel, various exercises with our Response Group and the NZ Navy. But the coolest project I’ve worked on involved helicopter patrols over the Marlborough and Milford Sounds.

What are you happiest doing when you’re not working? I’m always happy going for a ride on my motorbike.

Biggest life accomplishment? I’m proud of raising my kids to be well rounded, functioning adults.

Where’s your hometown, and what’s its best-kept secret? Christchurch is my hometown and there are no secrets here.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their career at Customs? The best advice I can give is ‘just go for it’.