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

Contact Us

If someone is lost, missing or in need of rescue, call 111 and ask for Police.

Active search and rescue operations

Media enquiries about active SAR operations should be directed to the relevant coordinating authority - the New Zealand Police or the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) at Maritime NZ


More infomation about search and rescue coordinating authorities

Search and rescue services are provided by a wide array of organisations, which are coordinated by either of the coordinating authorities.  

Category I operations are coordinated by Police, either when a person is reported missing, or they call 111 asking for help. These include searches on land, in caves, rivers, lakes and waterways, including the coast and marine areas within 12 nautical miles of New Zealand.  

Category II operations are coordinated by RCCNZ, and can call upon national or international resources, depending on the situation.  These include searches for missing aircraft or aircraft in distress, searches initiated by a distress beacon, and offshore marine searches. They can be conducted anywhere within New Zealand's search and rescue region, which covers 30 million square kilometres.  


Information about search and rescue personnel

Over 11,500 people are involved in New Zealand’s search and rescue sector. Ninety-one percent of them are unpaid volunteers – one of the highest rates of volunteer search and rescue involvement in the world. 

Paid professionals from organisations such as the New Zealand Defence Force, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the Department of Conservation and local helicopter operators also play a vital role in the sector.  

General enquiries

About distress beacons

For information about distress beacons and beacon registration, visit


For all other enquiries

Please contact Tania Seward, Senior Advisor Communications and Prevention, on 022 015 3863 or

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