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From Evening Post, 1 May 1933

AFTER A FORTNIGHT IN THE RANGES. — The four trampers who have been travelling through the Tararua Ranges since Easter Saturday, having been delayed by bad weather and swollen rivers. From left, Mr. A. H. O’Keefe, Miss M. Williams, Dr. W. B. Sutch, and Mr. E. Hill. From Evening Post, 1 May 1933

Land Search & Rescue

90 years of helping the lost, the missing and the injured.

New Zealand Land Search and Rescue was established as an incorporated society in 1994. Our volunteers operate in suburban, urban, wilderness and rural areas including regional and forest parks, shorelines and caves.  

Our unpaid professionals offer their specialist search and rescue skills free to the public 24/7 via the New Zealand Police and the Rescue Coordination Centre.

On 1st May 2023, New Zealand Land Search and Rescue proudly celebrate their 90th anniversary.

From its early beginnings, Land Search and Rescue has saved thousands of lives and has grown to cover our entire nation. Just as the popularity and capability of outdoor adventure spread and grew, so did the volunteers, capabilities, funding, and staff support of Land Search and Rescue.

90 years on, a large part of the organisation’s beginnings can be largely attributed to ‘The Sutch search’ of April 1933. A search that resulted after a party of four trampers who were missing for two weeks before being found, in the process the missing party had traversed almost the entire length of the Waiohine Valley in the Tararua Ranges.

NZ Map

63 local groups

throughout New Zealand


Up to $10,000

per volunteer training


Over 3,000

trained volunteers


Why I volunteer…

“Just knowing that I have some training and experience that I can use in my community to help save people’s lives in the outdoors is a very humbling feeling. To say I am a member of Search and Rescue is pretty special and a lot of people thank us for what we do when it is brought up in conversation!”

Millie Aitken, Team Leader

Join the team



The Land Safety Code & Plan My Walk App

Prevention is better than rescue. The Land Safety Code provides important information to follow when going out for a walk, hike or tramp in New Zealand.

Make planning easy with the Plan My Walk app.

View the code



Corporate Training Courses

We provide professional training courses to the organisations so that New Zealanders’ can respond and care for their communities in a time of need. 

Building value in other people’s people.

View Courses

Thanks to our funding partners & sponsors