Heli rescue


Outdoor Safety

If you need to report someone lost or missing,
dial 111.

Tell Someone Your PlansIf you believe someone you know is missing, and before you phone the police, first determine if the person is really lost; maybe they have just changed their plans.

Then gather this information:

  • The person’s name
  • A description of the person including age
  • A description of any vehicles, clothing or equipment
  • Where they were going and what time they were supposed to be back
  • What you have done to locate them.

There are no hard and fast rules about how long you should wait after you think a person is overdue before you call for help. For example, if you can’t find a child within an hour or so, it is time to call for assistance. An experienced tramper who is 6 hours overdue from a 2-week trip might not be quite so worrisome. It depends on the people, how prepared they are, the weather, medical conditions, etc.

Remember this: everyone in Search and Rescue would rather be called out and have the missing person show up five minutes later, than be called out too late.

The outdoor safety code

1. Plan your trip

Seek local knowledge and plan the route you will take and the amount of time you can reasonably expect it to take.

2. Tell someone

Tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven’t returned.

3. Be aware of the weather

New Zealand’s weather can be highly unpredictable. Check the forecast and expect weather changes.

4. Know your limits

Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience. Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger.

5. Take sufficient supplies

Make sure you have enough food, clothing, equipment and emergency rations for the worst-case scenario. Take an appropriate means of communication.

For more information, visit www.adventuresmart.org.nz/land-adventures


Distress Beacons

If possible, you should always have at least two reliable forms of communication. Police encourage trampers to hire a personal locator beacon, particularly if heading out on their own, so the alarm can be raised if there is no cellphone signal. MaritimeNZ has more information on distress beacons.


Mountain Safety Council

FREE Outdoor Recreation Activity Guides.

Very useful tools for outdoor enthusiasts.  Sometimes, people don’t know what they don’t know and MSC wanted to make this easy and fun.

Discover Day Walking E-Learning Tool
A step by step through the planning process and help participants make it home.

New Zealand Police Safety Guide

Specific information to help keep you safe outdoors.


NZSAR – New Zealand Search and Rescue
The New Zealand Search and Rescue (NZSAR) Council has a mandate from the NZ government to provide strategic leadership to the New Zealand Search and Rescue Sector.

Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
AREC provides communications support to the New Zealand Police and LandSAR for search and rescue operations

Marine Search and Rescue
The two main volunteer organisations who participate in marine search and rescue are Coastguard NZ and Surf Life Saving NZ.

Coastguard NZ
As a maritime search and rescue service, Coastguard NZ makes New Zealand’s waterways a safer place for boaties. Coastguard has 67 affiliated units located across the country.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand
Surf Life Saving is one of the leading water safety organisation in New Zealand.

The worldwide open platform for the exchange of mountain rescue know-how.

Wander Search

The WanderSearch tracking programme is a simple radio frequency tracking system for people living with a cognitive impairment who have the potential to wander.