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Who We Are

Page updated: 7 January 2021

Search and rescue services for the New Zealand Search and Rescue Region are provided by many organisations. The New Zealand Search and Rescue Council provides strategic leadership and direction to the sector.

About us Who We Are v2

Responsibilities or who does what
The Government has overall responsibility for search and rescue (SAR) policy. The NZSAR Council membership is drawn from the chief executives of the government agencies that have various SAR management or coordination roles. The Ministry of Transport, New Zealand Police, New Zealand Defence Force, Maritime NZ, the Civil Aviation Authority, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and the Department of Conservation.

The NZSAR Council is supported by the NZSAR Secretariat. The Secretariat provides strategic coordination for SAR through support services, policy advice, and implementation of NZSAR Council decisions. The NZSAR Secretariat convenes the NZSAR Consultative Committee, a national forum for all New Zealand SAR stakeholders including voluntary groups, and facilitates research, reviews and reports relevant across the SAR sector.

The responsibility for the operational co-ordination of SAR operations rests with one or the other of the two Coordinating Authorities, Police or RCCNZ. The Coordinating Authorities work in close cooperation where necessary and coordinate the activities of the many organisations in the SAR sector that provide people, aircraft, vessels and other forms of support in response to a SAR event.

The actual search and rescue response activities are carried out by a host of organisations and groups; 95% of the people who provide the search and rescue response are volunteers.

Annual Reports

Here you can read NZSAR Annual Reports from 2006 - present.

Read Annual Reports


Link is a quarterly newsletter produced by the NZSAR Secretariat for the search and rescue sector. Here you can read NZSAR Link Newsletters from 2007 - present.

Read Newsletters

New Zealand Search and Rescue in action

Need to report someone lost or missing? call 111 - Ask for police