Security award: Plaza security team winners

The Guardforce Security team at Pakuranga Plaza has picked up a top award from the New Zealand Security Association.

The NZSA has announced the second Covid-19 Guardian Award winners are a team from the Plaza.

This campaign was established to recognise essential service security guards’ efforts during Covid-19 lockdown.

The public nominated guards who had gone ‘above and beyond’ during the pandemic lockdown.

The winners are Lutelo Hausia (site security manager), Kelemete Makalio, Mark Tavoi Solomona, Meketi Silva and Phillip Lova.

The team was nominated by Allan Wharerau, general manager of Guardforce Security, but the nomination was prompted by multiple commendations received from Pakuranga Plaza retailers and shoppers as well as the property manager.

“This team have proved to everyone visiting the Plaza that they are rock stars,” Wharerau said.

One of the centre retailers highly commended the team saying, “They are caring and friendly and easy to communicate with, always wanting to know if we were okay.

“We value what they do and how much they care about the people that have worked through this difficult time, as well as putting their lives at risk for all of us.”

The winning team (from left) Martin Mihlev (Guardforce operations manager), Kelemete Makalio (guard), Mark Tavoi Solomona (guard), Plaza property manager Jaki Dwight, Lutelo Hausia (head guard), Alan (Guardforce GM) at the back, Phillip Lova (guard), Meketi Siliva (guard) and Mele (Plaza cleaner who also got a gift from the Plaza for her services working 7 days per week as the only cleaner on-site during Level 4).

A pharmacy manager said “They have been a tremendous help to our pharmacy team, helping elderly patients and supporting us in various way.”

Property manager Jaki Dwight, in an email to Guardforce Security, said “It is rare that anyone provides good feedback in any normal situation so getting this kind of feedback in the midst of such a difficult time for the world is truly amazing.

“You guys are making us proud every day and I know that Ziso (who started Guardforce Security but passed away in 2018) will be looking down and smiling at the efforts you are all going to, to make things safe and run as smoothly as possible. He will be proud as punch!”

The NZSA introduced the Covid-19 Guardian Award as a way in which the wider community could recognise and say thanks to security personnel for their efforts.

NZSA CEO Gary Morrison is thrilled with the number and quality of nominations received. He said judging was very difficult but the Pakuranga team stood out “because there were so many brilliant recommendations for them”.

With more than 25,000 New Zealanders working in the security industry, nearly double the number of police, private security has always had a critical role in keeping Kiwis and their property safe, especially during times of crisis, said Morrison.

The campaign calls on the public, business owners and other essential services who have used private guards to nominate individuals who have gone above and beyond or simply have been a reassuring, kind and considerate face during these testing times.

A web form has been established on the NZSA website where nominations can be made including a place to upload photos or videos of guards doing a great job.

The NZSA aims to award one guard a week with a special trophy in the lead up to the annual New Zealand Security Awards nomination period starting in late May. The awards are not just for member companies – anyone with a CoA (security licence) can be nominated.

The form can be found at https://security.org.nz/covid-19-guardian-award-nomination-form/