Searching for, and rescuing people is a complex, often difficult task that occurs in all kinds of weather and usually in demanding locations. The people who work or volunteer their time and skills in this area, and those that support them, often receive little public recognition for the feats they achieve and the sustained effort they put in to accomplish these tasks.
In recognition of this, the New Zealand Search and Rescue (NZSAR) Council has established an annual national award programme to acknowledge worthy achievements in the field of search and rescue in the New Zealand Search and Rescue Region.
The NZSAR Awards are intended to give formal and public recognition to those involved in SAR in New Zealand. They also raise community awareness about the efforts of volunteers and paid personnel in the SAR sector and celebrate their success. The NZSAR Awards are judged by the NZSAR Council, and presented at an annual NZSAR Awards ceremony at Parliament.
There are two categories of SAR related activity covered by the NZSAR Awards:
This category is for nominations relating to a specific SAR operation(s) that have occurred during the year.
This category is for nominations that do not relate to specific SAR operation(s) but to the wider range of SAR related activities (for example training, prevention, and long-service).
For both of the categories, there are two levels of recognition:
New Zealand Search and Rescue Gold Award
The Gold Award honours the person, group or organisation that has made a very significant contribution to search and rescue in the New Zealand Search and Rescue Region during that year, or over a sustained period. One NZSAR Gold Award can be awarded each year.
New Zealand Search and Rescue Certificate of Achievement
The certificate is awarded to people, groups or organisations that have made an important contribution to search and rescue in the New Zealand Search and Rescue Region during that year, or over a sustained period. More than one NZSAR Certificate can be awarded each year.
The NZSAR Award Policy can be downloaded here, and nomination forms here (pdf) and here (word).