Heli rescue


Frequently Asked Questions

What is ‘SAR’?

SAR stands for ‘Search and Rescue’. The generic term refers to the process of looking for, locating, and retrieving a missing person. It describes the activity that LandSAR NZ (the organisation) volunteers undertake.

How does Search and Rescue work?

Search & Rescue relies on the combined efforts of professionals and trained volunteers. The SAR process means finding a lost person through the application of theory and experience in a race against time.

What other organisations does SAR work together with?

SAR itself is composed of many organisations such as the Police, the Air Force, 4 wheel-drive clubs, Amateur Radio Emergency Communications, the Red Cross, DOC, Paramedics, and the Coastguard.

Don’t the Police do Search and Rescue?

Yes, but it’s a combined effort that involves many organisations, both professional and volunteer. NZ Police is the lead agency for Land Search & Rescue.

Who pays for a Search and Rescue?

Our SAR operations are provided free of charge to the victim and the government.

How are SAR volunteers called out to a search, is there a duty roster?

There is no duty roster for LandSAR members. The Police will call on Volunteers through LandSAR Advisors who will work through contacts to the LandSAR groups in their area. Different LandSAR regions and groups have different systems for activating members, these may include phone, pager, eTXT, or even email.

How old do I have to be to join LandSAR?

Most LandSAR members are aged between 18 and 70.  Some groups have non active roles such as Incident Management and Management Support for those between 70 and 80.   For more information on the local LandSAR Groups go to our Contact page.

How do I go about joining?

Easy, just get in touch with your closest group via our Contact Page.

My dog is great at finding things, can we help?

LandSAR would like your help. However you have to be a member of a local LandSAR group first and once you are trained, your dog would need to be assessed. If you are assessed as being suitable, then both you and your dog will have to be trained to a recognised Search Dog standard. See www.searchdogs.co.nz.