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Awards night brings out industry’s best

NZ Security Magazine, Oct/Nov 2017

Security industry's big night at Te Papa a big success.Security industry's big night at Te Papa a big success.


Wellington’s Te Papa was where the security industry converged on the evening of 25August to celebrate its 2017 best. It was a fitting venue for a night that more than lived up to the expectations of hosts NZSA and its guests from around the country.

By most accounts, last year’s Security Industry Awards at the Blue Baths in Rotorua was a glittering success, but with lower attendee numbers than what had been anticipated. It was hoped that a change of location for the 2017 event might attract more interest.

First potential option was South Island’s Blenheim, which turned out to be a bridge too far. Ultimately, the NZSA zeroed in on Wellington on account of the capital’s concentration of security industry operators.

It turned out to be a good decision, with this year’s event attracting bigger numbers – to both the afternoon’s educational seminars and the awards night dinner.

Sponsored by Red Wolf, the educational seminars held at the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor offered a series of thought provoking and entirely relevant talks.

Penny Rounthwaite from the Ministry of Social Development’s Health, Safety and security team presented on the strategies and measures MSD has put in place in relation to security and HSS management. It was a guided step-through of an approach to meeting the Protective Security Requirements by an organisation responsible for the safety of over 10,000 largely client-facing staff spread across 300 locations.

Next was Bruce Ross of Ignite Business Leadership speaking about understanding and harnessing the human side of business and leadership. Distilling the essence of leadership down to one quality – energy – Bruce took participants on a journey through how to get the most out of oneself and one’s employees.

Professor Rouben Azizian of Massey University’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies wrapped up the afternoon with a presentation on “National Security and Regional Responsibility: the need for new paradigms”. In what was a call to action, Prof Azizian challenged the private sector to get more involved in the policy processes that inform how central government approaches national security – from cyber to critical national infrastructure and beyond.

As a prelude to the evening’s main event, this year’s speaker line-up appeared to confirm what was unclear from last year’s event: that the educational seminar format works.

Commenting about the awards night in his monthly NZSA newsletter, the association’s CEO Gary Morrison commented, “I'm certain all will agree that it was an entertaining and inspirational evening that reinforced the professionalism, commitment, skill and heroism of those who work in our industry.”

Indeed it was. With lively MC delivery by Kerre McIvor, the night was plain good fun. In the presence of special guests Sir William Gallagher and the Honourable Mark Mitchell in his capacity as Associate Minister of Justice, attendees let their hair down and celebrated the success of their colleagues.

“During the awards,” commented Gary, “I spoke to the audience about our desire to create an event that is recognised as the ‘not to be missed’ event on the security industry calendar.” And to that end he announced the location of next year’s event to be Queenstown.

It remains to be seen whether Queenstown will provide enough pull to prospective attendees, and it may well turn out to be a tall order for many. One thing is certain though – the NZSA seem to have gotten the format right.


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