New Zealand’s leading drug detection experts

The dedicated team of NZ Detector Dogs with their K9 partners, ready for on-site drug detection services.
Meet the team

Our Handlers

Janet Williams
Managing Director/Canine Trainer
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Janet Williams
Managing Director/Canine Trainer

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.

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.

Scott Williams
Dog Handler/Canine Training
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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.

Noeline Tierney
South Island General Manager/Dog Handler
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Noeline Tierney
South Island General Manager/Dog Handler

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!

Sarah Dyer
Dog Handler/Trainer
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Sarah Dyer
Dog Handler/Trainer

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. 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.

Our Dogs

Java
Loves working everyday!
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Java
Loves working everyday!
Rip
Always smiling
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Rip
Always smiling
Kai
The seasoned professional
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Kai
The seasoned professional
Harley
Always hunting!
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Harley
Always hunting!
FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Learn more about NZ Detector Dogs, here.

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