Published date: 12 October 2021

Three teams of Aviation Security Officers from Auckland have been providing security assistance at Hamilton, Whangarei and Kerikeri airports following the change to COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

The team at Hamilton Airport commenced duties there on Tuesday 5 October, while the Whangarei and Kerikeri teams started mid-afternoon on Saturday 9 October following the Northland alert level change on Friday evening. 

The officers’ primary duties are to provide a visible uniformed presence, and to assist and monitor people travelling out of the three airports. Officers are checking people’s travel documentation and that their reason for leaving meets the criteria allowed under Alert Level 3.

Aviation Security Service General Manager Mark Wheeler said the deployment of officers in Northland and the Waikato was part of the organisation’s ongoing commitment to support the Government’s Covid-19 response wherever possible.

“Although most people would recognise our Aviation Security Officers from airport security screening points, our teams have stepped up and taken on a wide range of roles over the past 18 months to help New Zealand’s fight against Covid-19,” Mr Wheeler said.

“Our teams across the country have helped keep our communities safe and secure at this important time for New Zealand, with our support ranging from community reassurance and compliance patrols alongside Police, to providing security at a range of MIQ facilities, and more recently helping to ensure only permitted travellers are flying from Level 3 airports. In addition, teams in Auckland have been delivering food parcels to local households who need extra support at this time.

“I’m enormously proud of the work our teams have done over the past 18 months, and their ongoing dedication and commitment to keeping our communities safe and secure, whether through our airport screening operations or their newer roles helping out with our COVID-19 response.”

All Aviation Security Officers are subject to regular Covid-19 testing as per the Government’s direction for all border workers.

Notes to the editor

Aviation Security has been providing personnel and expertise to the Government’s Covid-19 response since March 2020. Key highlights include:

  • Providing 156 Aviation Security Officers to work in 22 MIQ facilities around New Zealand, this is approximately 15% of the total Aviation Security workforce. At its peak in 2020 Aviation Security provided 29% of it’s workforce to MIQ roles.
  • The Civil Aviation Authority (of which Aviation Security is part) provides payroll services to MBIE for all MIQ personnel – this is in addition to the regular duties the payroll team perform for the Authority.
  • Aviation Security continues to conduct “door duties” at Auckland Airport to check passenger eligibility to fly out of Auckland under Alert Level 3.
  • Throughout the August/September 2021 nationwide lockdown Aviation Security Officers assisted the New Zealand Police by undertaking community reassurance patrols in Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin
  • During this same lockdown period Aviation Security Officers provided security assistance at vaccination centres in Queenstown and Wellington.

Photos and captions

Photo 1 – ASO conducts CCTV duty at Novotel (MIQ) [JPG 62 KB]

Photo 2 – ASO conducts back gate security duty at Sudima (MIQ) [JPG 80 KB]

Photo 3 – Wellington Station’s off-airport AvSec team conduct a community patrol outside Government House 31 August 2021 as protest action had been expected. [JPG 2.7 MB]

Photo 4 – Wellington Station’s off-airport AvSec team conduct a community patrol along Oriental Parade and into the CBD on 27 August 2021. [JPG 130 KB]