Heli rescue

SEARCH & RESCUE SUPPORT
FOR THE LOST, MISSING & INJURED

About LandSAR

We are a national volunteer organisation which provides land search and rescue services to lost, missing and injured all over New Zealand. Our volunteers operate in suburban, urban, wilderness and rural areas including regional and forest parks, shorelines and caves.

These unpaid professionals offer their specialist search and rescue skills to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the New Zealand Police and the Rescue Coordination Centre. In 2013 they donated nearly 26,000 hours to rescue operations and spent nearly 102,000 hours training.

We have over 3,500 trained search and rescue volunteers who are members of 61 local groups covering the length and breadth of New Zealand. There are also 18 specialist teams such as LandSAR Search Dogs, LandSAR Caving, Alpine Cliff Rescue and Swift Water Rescue who operate on a local level where there is a requirement for these specialist skills.

The LandSAR Board is the governance body of the organisation and comprises of independent and elected Directors. The Board appoints the Chief Executive who delivers an annual management plan to support the Board’s strategies. He is supported by a small team of salaried National Support Office Staff.

The Patron of New Zealand Land Search and Rescue Incorporated is Lieutenant General Sir Jeremiah “Jerry” Mateparae GNZM QSO.

NEW ZEALAND LAND SEARCH AND RESCUE HISTORY

Our history as a volunteer Search and Rescue (SAR) organisation began in the 1930’s after two large searches in the Tararua Ranges. In 1934 NZLSAR began operating with local search and rescue groups and advisers appointed by the New Zealand Police. Funding was made available from a government grant that was channelled through the Police.

NZLSAR operated under this structure for some 70 years until 1994 when New Zealand Land Search and Rescue became a separate, incorporated society. Management of NZLSAR was carried out by a national committee made up of a chairman, treasurer, seven regional representatives, chairs of five standing subcommittees, a Police representative, a FMC representative and a DOC representative. Seven regions of volunteers and one representative each from Police, the Department of Conservation (DOC), the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council, the Federated Mountain Clubs (FMC) and the New Zealand Speleological Society formed the membership base. Subcommittees and working groups included Communications and Technology, Search & Rescue Dogs, Specialist, Training and Underground, Aviation, Medical, Swiftwater SAR and Vertical Rescue. Funding was increased and a fulltime administrative staff member was employed. The Police provided office space and facilities at Police National Headquarters, sitting alongside the Police national SAR coordinator.

In 2005 the national committee was replaced by a board of directors and a chief executive employed. In 2009 ownership of the organisation was vested in the grass root membership of approximately 2,500 volunteers. The original five institutional members became associate members.

Over 60 dedicated local LandSAR groups and a number of specialist teams now provide land based (includes coastline and inland waterways) search and rescue resources to the Police and public of New Zealand. The total membership of LandSAR in January 2014 was over 3,500 volunteers.

For more information on the local LandSAR groups go to our Contact page.

 

LandSAR Chairmen

1996 – 2002 Graham Thorp
2002 – 2006 Roscoe Tait
2006 – 2008 Ray Polson
2008 – 2012 Phillip Melchior
2012 – Dave Erson

Life Members

2006 Roger Barrowclough (Dunedin)
2007 Roscoe Tait (Auckland)
2009 Tom Clarkson (Wellington)
2010 Roger Bates (Turangi)