Quarantine Officer Āpiha Ārai Mate Hōrapa

Quarantine officers control the entry of agricultural and horticultural produce, plants and animals into New Zealand. They identify and control biosecurity risks arriving at New Zealand's borders.

Quarantine officers may do some or all of the following:

  • deal with requests from importers and exporters about cargo they wish to bring into or take out of the country
  • follow Ministry for Primary Industries import health standard procedures when dealing with import requests
  • ban, or impose quarantine restrictions on, goods or animals suspected of disease
  • board and inspect aircraft and sea vessels entering the country
  • check aircraft are insect-free and have appropriate certificates
  • inspect cargo and look for any prohibited goods
  • inspect imported cars
  • interview visitors about their luggage and imports
  • inspect the luggage of airport passengers manually, using x-ray machines and sniffer dogs
  • identify passengers who are considered a high risk for bringing in prohibited goods
  • ensure entry requirements are met by inspecting import documentation and/or the cargo.

Physical Requirements

Quarantine officers need to have a good level of health and fitness, as they spend long periods standing. They also need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses) and they should have normal colour vision.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for quarantine officers includes work in the horticultural, agricultural or forestry industries. For quarantine officers working as dog handlers, experience with animal handling or veterinary nursing is also useful.

Personal Qualities

Quarantine officers need to be:

  • enquiring and alert
  • firm and fair
  • observant, with an eye for detail
  • safety-conscious
  • good communicators
  • able to relate to people from a range of cultures
  • able to work well under pressure.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for quarantine officers includes work in the horticultural, agricultural or forestry industries. For quarantine officers working as dog handlers, experience with animal handling or veterinary nursing is also useful.

Quarantine Officers can earn around $49K-$51K per year per year.

Quarantine officers may move into management or policy positions at the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Some quarantine officers specialise as dog handlers, working with sniffer dogs to inspect passengers, baggage, mail and cargo.

Quarantine Officer

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