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Safety in the Bush
Important information about YOUR Safety, NZ's Weather, First Aid and the Search and Rescue Services. Updated 4 March 2009.


Safety in the Bush

  This is an area, which does not seem to get, as much attention at it should.

Here a few important links to the Search and Rescue services available in New Zealand.

I suggest that anyone whom spends any time in the bush should be come familiar with these services as you may need them at some stage either for your own rescue or another person accompanying your group.

First aid packs: This is a company supplying comprehensive first aid packs ideal for 4WD use.  www.aideport.com


Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (maritime & land distress beacon)

The 'old' 121.5MHz beacons will be useless from early 2009. The new standard is 406 MHz. These units must be registered to be effective.

To understand this system which can be used for land based emergencies visit the Cospas-Sarsat website to get all the info you need.

Cospas-Sarsat is a satellite system designed to provide distress alert and location data to assist search and rescue (SAR) operations, using spacecraft and ground facilities to detect and locate the signals of distress beacons operating on 406 Megahertz (MHz) or 121.5 MHz. The position of the distress and other related information is forwarded to the appropriate Search and Rescue Point of Contact (SPOC) through the Cospas-Sarsat Mission Control Center (MCC) network. The goal of the System is to support all organizations in the world with responsibility for SAR operations, whether at sea, in the air or on land.

Click Here for More Info
 Links to Suppliers of EPIRB Systems in New Zealand

Safety at Sea, agents for GME EPIRBS


NZ National Meteorological Service

NZ's Weather Service

Check the weather before you go! New Zealand's weather is very unpredictable so be prepared!
It's safer and more fun when prepared for all weather conditions.

Click Here for More Info


New Zealand Search and Rescue

New Zealand Land Search And Rescue Inc

Auckland's Land
Search & Rescue
Search and Rescue Operations in New Zealand can be separated into two main categories :-

  1. Land and small area sea searches close to shore.
  2. Wide area sea or air (sometimes over land) searches.

The first category is the responsibility of the New Zealand Police, who may use their own resources or call on volunteer assistance. Separate volunteer organisations exist for the land and sea operations. Wide area searches (and those for aircraft or emergency beacon activation within NZ) are the responsibility of the Maritime Safety Authority and are controlled from the RCCNZ (Rescue Coordination Center NZ) situated in Wellington. RCCNZ is managed by the Maritime Safety Authority (MSA) under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)

Classes of Operations:

Police controlled and staffed land and sea searches for people, boats, etc possibly using civilian volunteer search management and field teams.

Wide area land, air and sea search controlled by RCCNZ Wellington, using civilian and military resources, boats, planes, etc. Includes searches following emergency beacon activations.

Click Here for More Info


New Zealand Mountain Safety Council

Mountain Safety Council

New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) was formed in 1966 in response to a growing concern over an increasing number of accidents in the bush and mountains. Representatives from a number of government and recreational organisations formed an incorporated society with the goal of enhancing safety in outdoor adventure activities.

MSC has developed into an organisation with 27 Branches, over 1000 volunteer instructors and 17 member organisations. A professional staff of twelve:

  • Develop and monitor training programs
  • Produce technical manuals
  • Provide administrative support and information
  • Publicise outdoor safety.

Click Here for More Info


The Search and Rescue Institute of New Zealand

Search & Rescue Institute of New Zealand

The Search and Rescue Institute New Zealand (SARINZ) is an international centre of Search and Rescue (SAR) excellence. Its sole purpose is to support SAR in its efforts to save lives in back country, rural, urban, coastal or workplace environs.

SARINZ succeeds by providing customised and standards based Search and Rescue:

Click Here for More Info


New Zealand Search and Rescue Council

NZ Search & Rescue Council

Search and Rescue in New Zealand has a long and proud history of aiding people who find themselves in peril in the New Zealand environment.

Many people owe their lives to the efforts of dedicated police, coastguard, trampers, mountaineers, mariners, aviators, military personnel and many others that have provided the search and rescue services of this country.

The Search and Rescue Council has a mandate from the Government to provide strong strategic leadership to this large sector of vital organisations and individuals. The Council is committed to assist and support the search and rescue sector by providing strategic co-ordination and governance. This approach aims to improve the overall co-ordination, cohesion, capability and leadership of search and rescue at a national level across all types of incidents.

This website aims to introduce you to the Council and search and rescue in New Zealand. This site is also designed to inform you on current issues, provide public reports and source information relevant to the search and rescue field.

Click Here for More Info



NZ Police Search & Rescue

Search and Rescue uniform

The New Zealand Police co-ordinate search and rescue activities in New Zealand for Class I and Class II searches. The Rescue Co-ordination Centre co-ordinates Class III searches that involve activations of Emergency Locator Beacons, missing aircraft and ships at sea. Class I searches are where the Police do not require any additional assistance and Class II searches where assistance is needed.

Police officers in each district are trained as Search and Rescue (SAR) Co-ordinators. They work with volunteer groups such as the Royal New Zealand Coast Guard Federation, the Amateur Radio Emergency Corps(AREC) and the New Zealand Land Search and Rescue Inc., and other similar organisations.

The Police are usually the first point of notification when people are overdue from an outdoor activity such as tramping, boating, or hunting. A SAR response is initiated and if necessary the Coast Guard, New Zealand Land Search and Rescue and AREC volunteers are called in to help. Police co-ordinate the search using the expertise of skilled volunteers such as land and marine advisers.

The Police annually control over 1100 land and marine search and rescue incidents. Occasionally a search is called off within an hour, but some searches can go for several days and involve police search and rescue squad members, Coastguard, New Zealand Land SAR, rescue helicopters, Defence Forces, and other volunteers.

Click Here for More Info

  Updated 25 November 2007  

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