New Zealand Police

New Zealand Police is the lead agency responsible for reducing crime and enhancing community safety. 


New Zealand Police works with the community to make New Zealanders be safe and feel safe. With over 12,000 staff, they provide policing services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Police operate by land, sea and air, manage over 860,000 emergency calls a year and are always actively preventing crime and crashes. New Zealand Police work towards specific goals and targets that highlight their intent to work collaboratively with iwi and communities, other government sectors and business partners to deliver ‘Our Business’ and achieve long-term change.

SAR Role

The New Zealand Police co-ordinate search and rescue activities in New Zealand for Category 1 searches, which are searches coordinated at the local level. They usually involve local resources and people who are familiar with the area.

These searches include:

  • Land searches
  • Subterranean searches (for missing cavers)
  • River, lake and inland waterway searches
  • Close-to-shore marine searches - usually within New Zealand territorial waters (12 nautical miles)

Police officers in each district are trained as Search and Rescue (SAR) specialists, and are led by
a district Police SAR Coordinator. Police SAR teams work closely with volunteer groups such as Coastguard,
Land Search and Rescue, Surf Life Saving, Amateur Radio Emergency Corps 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. Police will coordinate the SAR response and utilise
the expertise of skilled volunteers to assist with incident management and field operations. The Police annually
coordinate over 1,100 land and marine search and rescue incidents. A search can vary from taking less
than an hour, to multiple days and involve police search and rescue squad members,
Coastguard, LandSAR, rescue helicopters, Defence Forces, and other volunteers.


Copyright 2020 by NZSAR
Tuesday, May 26, 2020