​027 473 1486
027 431 6225

About Us

Our Vision
Safer, Drug Free Environments


Our Mission

NZ Detector Dogs - Harnessing the intelligence and abilities of unwanted and rescued dogs, we are passionate about inspiring a proactive approach to drug free environments that are happier, healthier and safer for our clients, their people and their communities.


Our People

New Zealand Detector Dogs have the most highly qualified and trained staff in the private sector of NZ.  Our staff have long and proven backgrounds as professional dog handlers and trainers from New Zealand's leading government agencies - Police and MAF Biosecurity (MPI).  Our team are experienced, specialist drug detector dog handlers and trainers, with proven backgrounds and the qualifications to back it up.

Not only are our handlers amongst the best in the country, but most are qualified, recognised trainers in their specific fields.  Our experience has given us a wide-reaching depth of knowledge, covering drug detection, biosecurity, Police dogs, explosive detection, drug screening, drug testing and detecting drugs in the workplace. Our drug dog teams are one of the most effective solutions to drug detection and deterrence available. Screening at our international borders and ports has to be at the highest possible level and our extensive experience has given us the reputation as being the leading service provider of detector dogs in the private sector of New Zealand.

Experience and knowledge is vital as scent detector dog handlers are required to be 'expert witnesses' and need to have documented and proven backgrounds to support any legal, employment or procedural proceedings which may occur as a result of a dog indication.  Our wide range of experience is not only in providing highly trained K9 teams for the purpose of drug, explosives or biosecurity detection, but we also have extensive knowledge in the training and certification of specialist detector dogs, detector dog breeding and sourcing and also the programme development and management of specialist scent detector dogs which has been acknowledged at international and ministerial level.

In addition to our vast and wide-ranging dog handling experience, our handlers are also qualified collectors for urine drug screening, drug testing and have completed advanced training in managing drug and alcohol issues in the workplace.

Our handlers are recognised experts with Police and Biosecurity backgrounds who have extensive experience in law enforcement, border protection and managing any issues they may detect in your workplace and can give expert guidance at every step of the process. 

Our Drug and Explosive handlers are dedicated to getting the best out of our K9's and provide our clients with the highest level of service and advice regarding how to manage the risks we detect in their organisation.  Our level of expertise is second to none in the private enterprise of NZ.

Meet the team:  

Janet Williams - Managing Director (Drug Dog/Trainer/Instructor North Island)

Janet’s background is as a detector dog handler, senior handler, Canine Operations Supervisor and Airport Team Manager responsible for the Biosecurity Detector Dog teams from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry that covered all the major international airports across New Zealand protecting our borders from 1997 – 2009.

Janet was responsible for the selection, training, deployment, proficiency testing and operational management of up to 21 passive response dog teams across New Zealand at any one time.

She developed and wrote the MAF Biosecurity Detector Dog Training Manual while also designing and implementing most of the current training, competency, validation testing and deployment processes by which New Zealand’s Biosecurity dogs are operated under today.

Janet was also the Project Manager running the MAF Breeding Enhancement Programme which involved collaboration between NZ and the UK for the specialist breeding of the Biosecurity Detector Dogs. 

The MAF Biosecurity Detector Dog Programme is now recognised as a world leader in Biosecurity detector dogs.

NZ Detector Dogs Handler Janet with  drug dog Zara next to Company vehicle

Janet also developed New Zealand’s first Paua Detector Dog Programme in a Government Inter-agency agreement between MAF and the Ministry of Fisheries with specialist dogs trained to detect illegally gathered and smuggled paua.  This initiative was recognised at the Ministerial level and acknowledged as having a major impact in reducing the levels of a valuable natural resource being smuggled at our international borders.

Due to Janet’s achievements, her services for training, consulting and establishing new detector dog teams and programmes are highly sought after both nationally and internationally by overseas government and private establishments.  Janet has attended numerous overseas conferences as a subject matter expert in specialist detector dogs in Australia, UK, Italy, USA and has extensive experience in specialist detector dog breeding programmes.

More recently Janet set up and developed Explosives Detector Dog teams that were deployed in the screening of international  Cruise ships and public events for the private sector of NZ.

In 1996, through Massey University Janet completed the Veterinary Science Extramural Paper ‘Principles of Canine Behaviour’, passing with an A grade.

Janet also spent 13 years in the New Zealand Police, working in Incident cars, Crime Control Unit, Recruiting, Diplomatic & Witness Protection Squad, Eagle Helicopter Aircrew member and was a qualified Police Intelligence Analyst.  Janet received a number of commendations and recommendations for commendations during her Police career.

"Janet developed, reviewed and updated the entire training documentation of the MAF Detector Dog Programme.  Apart from the enormity of the task, the end result is a true asset to MAF.

Janet's range of expertise in canine operations spans a wide spectrum, encompassing breeding and training through to validation systems.  It is unusual to have this breadth of knowledge and experience in one person."

Jeff Trevella, National Manager MAF Quarantine Service.

Sarah Dyer- Drug Dog Handler/Trainer- North Island

Sarah joins NZ Detector Dogs as NZ's most experienced handler/trainer of Biosecurity Detector Dogs.

From 2001-2015 Sarah has worked and trained specialist detector dogs for the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI).  In her time at MPI she was responsible for the sourcing, selection, training, and wellbeing of MPI's Detector Dogs - ensuring their care and training was of the highest standards.

Sarah was also responsible for the Initial training of new handlers, monitoring and evaluating the field performance of the Biosecurity dog teams across NZ and the planning, managing and development of training for the dog teams to ensure they were operating to a high level of proficiency.

As a qualified assessor, she also carried out the Validation testing of dog teams for both government and private enterprises.

Drug Dog handler Sarah with Drug Dog Kai

Sarah has also competed in agility and obedience disciplines getting to Senior in agility and Test A in Obedience at National Levels.

She has completed the Veterinary Sciences Extramural paper "Principles of Canine Behaviour" through Massey University and is also attended the Animal and Technology & Veterinary Nursing course at UNITEC and qualified as a Vet Nurse with Credit.

Scott Williams - Dog Handler/Canine Training

Scott was a member of the NZ Police for over 31 years.  Twenty-one of those years being a NZ Police Dog handler and Regional Training Sergeant in the Auckland Police Dog Section.

During his 21 years of Police Dog handling experience, Scott trained and worked five General Purpose patrol dogs and also, served on the Armed Offenders Squad as a dog handler.  In 2008 Scott was promoted to the Regional Training Sergeant on the Auckland Dog Section and was responsible for the training and operational performance of the patrol dogs and handlers.  His responsibilities included the training of new handlers, training new dogs and the retraining of experienced dog teams ensuring all operational aspects of Police dog handling were up to the national standards.

Scott has also carried out training as a drug dog handler and  In 1996, through Massey University completed the Veterinary Science Extramural Paper ‘Principles of Canine Behaviour’. 

In 2004 Scott was awarded a NZ Police Silver Merit Award for the apprehension of a dangerous armed offender in the act of committing an armed kidnapping of a female victim.

Drug Dog Handler Scott Williams with drug dog Luke
Noeline Tierney - General Manager (Drug Dog Handler South Island)

Noeline has come to NZDDS with over 14 years of experience as a specialist scent detector handler, working for the Ministry of Primary Industries from 2006 - 2020.  While with MPI Noeline was both an Active Detector Dog handler and also a Passive Detector Dog handler, both highly specialised roles.  Noeline worked at NZ's international  borders screening at passengers and cargo at the Ports, International Mail Centre, International Airports and Cruise ships across NZ, both in Auckland and then Christchurch. 

In addition to being a highly experience scent detector dog handler, Noeline mentored new handlers and further completed training  courses 'Train the Trainer' with Mark Vette, 'Code of Animal Welfare', ' Risk Assessment', 'Health & Safety in the Workplace' & 'Tactical Communications'.

Noeline has had a long history of working with dogs, starting out in 2003 as a self-employed mobile dog washer.  Wanting to further herself she gained a wealth of experience working in a number of private boarding kennels, handling a wide range of dogs all with differing temperaments.

In 2005 Noeline completed a Certificate in Animal Management, specialising in Canine Behaviour and Training through Unitec Institute of Technology. Noeline was awarded as the  'Most Achieved Student' for Canine Behaviour and Training that year.

2005 also saw Noeline volunteering with the Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust as a puppy handler, overseeing the early maintenance & development of the dogs.  There she completed further training modules 'Implications of Dog Handling for Wheelchair Users and gained invaluable training and insight into how invaluable these dogs are.

When not working her dogs, she is also a member of 'Canine Friends' an organisation that takes dogs to retirement homes, schools and other community places in order to give people in our wider community the gift of canine companionship.

We are very lucky to have a team member with such a wide range of experience and knowledge join the NZDDS team.  Together with K9's Xandy and Harley the South Island are gaining an outstanding team member.  Welcome aboard Wonder Woman!

Drug Dog handler Noeline with Drug sniffer dog Harley
Kevin Plowright - Drug Dog Handler - North Island
NZ Detector Dogs are pleased to have Kevin Plowright as part of our team. Kevin a highly skilled detector dog handler also has a wealth of experience in the handling, management, and rehabilitation of dogs as well as being one of the most recognised ‘faces’ of Animal Welfare in New Zealand.

In 2002 Kevin completed National Certificates in Animal Welfare Investigations, Animal Compliance & Regulatory Control and completed a Certificate in Applied Canine Behaviour. From 2002 – 2005 Kevin worked as an Animal Welfare/Animal Control Officer with the Waitakere City Council.

In 2005 Kevin joined the SPCA Auckland as an Animal Welfare Inspector. His role involved the investigation, prosecution removal & seizure of ill-treated animals. While in this role Kevin fostered and rehabilitated the dogs himself so they could go on to be successfully rehomed.

Drug Dog handler Kevin with drug dog Skylar

Wanting to expand his skills to detection dog handling Kevin joined the now Ministry of Primary Industries as a Biosecurity Detector Dog handler in 2007 and worked a number of active response dogs screening our borders for biosecurity risk items at the International Mail Centre, International Cargo Centre and also screening international cruise ships at the ports of arrival.

In 2010 Kevin returned to the SPCA Auckland as the Senior Animal Welfare Inspector. He carried out a number of high-profile investigations which led the successful prosecutions of the perpetrators’ involved in the animal cruelty or animal neglect under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

Due to his highly successful work and the outcomes he achieved for the animals in 2013 he received the SPCA New Zealand Certificate of Excellence and in 2017 he received the SPCA Auckland Individual Excellence Award ‘Rona’s Roar’. As part of this award, Kevin spent two weeks with the Namibian Wildlife Sanctuary working with rescued African Painted wild dogs and the release and tracking of a rescued/relocated leopard.

Throughout his time with the SPCA Kevin was passionate about the fostering and rehabilitation of the dogs that were difficult or badly traumatised by their experience and taking many into his own home. Kevin provided canine training sessions for the SPCA staff and was the driving force behind the SPCA building it's first K9 confidence course to help damaged dogs form confidence and bonds with humans. The course was inspired by Kevin’s own K9 confidence course that he created to help build the environmental confidence for the dogs in his care.

Kevin is now the handler of Skylar, herself a rescue dog that spent the first year of her life at the end of a chain and being beaten if she made any noise. If anyone can understand what this beautiful young dog has been through – it is Kevin, and already they are proving to be an awesome team!

Skylar Web Site-439-413


About us

As the leading service provider in workplace drug detection we have put our wide ranging skills together to provide  clients with highly trained K9 's for safer, drug free environments.

Latest news

Our drug detector dog teams have featured regularly in the media in programmes such as Dog Squad, Coast Watch and in numerous publications.

Contact us

North Island
027 473 1486 - Janet    
South Island
027 431 6225 - Noeline 
We welcome your enquiries!

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