Peter Weedon was in a job he wasn’t enjoying until he decided to transfer his skill set into a quarantine officer role.

“I’m so glad I applied when I did, because I have enjoyed every minute of it so far,” says Peter.

The 36-year-old has been a border quarantine officer for the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) for four and half years now.

Thanks to TV shows like Border Security, we all have a better idea of the type of work that Peter does. On a day-to-day basis he is responsible for identifying and controlling biosecurity risks arriving at New Zealand’s borders. He controls the entry of agricultural and horticultural produce, used cars/machinery, ships, aircraft, plants/seeds, animals and animal products into New Zealand.

Peter is originally from the Bay of Plenty, where he grew up in Katikati and Rotorua. He now calls Auckland home, working at various sites around the city, including Auckland International Airport, the International Mail Centre, Ports of Auckland, the air freight arrival centre and transitional facilities Auckland-wide.

He loves the variety and says very few days are the same.

“One day I could be on a cruise ship clearing passengers and the vessel, then the next day running an X-ray machine at the international Mail Centre. Working over five work sites within Auckland keeps you on your toes, making sure you stay competent in the skills required for each work site.”

And the downside?

“Getting up at 3.30am to go to work for an early shift at the International Airport. The joys of shift work!” says Peter.

The job requires six weeks’ internal training, then on-the-job training through mentors. He’s keen to continue to develop in his role through self-learning and to soak up any opportunities at MPI. His goal is to be the best quarantine officer he can be.

Peter’s key mentor is his chief quarantine officer at work, from whom he regularly seeks guidance. His wife is also a key source of inspiration.

“Cheesey, I know!” says Peter, “but she keeps me well grounded and is always pushing and encouraging me to grow as a person and professionally.”

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