About Us About Us

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About Us - New Zealand Search and Rescue (NZSAR)

Responsibility for New Zealand search and rescue (SAR) policy lies with the Government. Services are managed and coordinated by several core departments and state agencies, namely New Zealand Police, Maritime NZ, the Civil Aviation Authority, the New Zealand Defence Force and the Ministry of Transport. Other agencies, such as the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, are responsible for wider and complementary policies regarding rescue activities.

The NZSAR Council provides national strategic governance and leadership to New Zealand search and rescue. In keeping with the Council’s high level strategic function, its membership is drawn from the chief executives of the Ministry of Transport (chair), New Zealand Police, New Zealand Defence Force, Maritime NZ, the Civil Aviation Authority, and the Department of Conservation. 

The NZSAR Council is supported by the NZSAR Secretariat. The Secretariat provides strategic coordination for SAR in New Zealand 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 (SAROPS) 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 transport in response to a SAR event.

The field operations, i.e. the actual search and rescue response activities, are carried out by a host of organisations and groups. Most of these organisations are represented on the NZSAR Consultative Committee. 

NZSAR Linkage Chart

Search and Rescue operations, strategy and governance work via a complex network of linkages.

View a larger version of this Linkage Chart

Copyright 2020 by NZSAR
Friday, April 10, 2020