This year's recipient of the Ria McBride Public Service Management Award is Kesta Dennison. Kesta is currently a Customs Officer in the New Zealand Customs Service; she is a talented and dedicated officer with exceptional leadership and technical skills. She has been identified as a leader with high potential, and her development is supported by the Customs Executive Board.
After a successful career in the private sector she followed her moral compass and chose to leave the corporate world to join Customs in 2012 intent on making a difference in the Child Exploitation field. By being with the Customs Service she has had the opportunity and exposure to research the many layers involved in this field, it has fuelled her desire to make a considered contribution to preventing and minimising harm not only in New Zealand but to the international community.
Kesta intends to use this award to further her study and research at the Massey University Centre for Defence and Security Studies. The programme provides a greater geopolitical and strategic insight into the global nature of security issues including the emergent challenges and approaches to addressing them.
"To live a happy healthy fulfilling life we must hold onto values that are greater than our own. Find a problem you care about and start solving it. You won't solve the world's problems but you can contribute and make a difference."
"Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei ( Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain)" Kesta Dennison