Fee-free Criteria

There are two specific training funds established for the training of volunteer responders. Specifically these are for Search and Rescue (SAR) and Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) volunteers.

Funding for these courses is through the Tertiary Education Commission and is managed by NZSAR for the SAR sector and by NEMA for the CDEM sector. Attendance is subject to the following conditions:

  • for approved delivery only;
  • that participants are funded for the acquisition of new skills;
  • that the participant is funded on a one-time only basis for that training event.

Each fund also has three specific funding criterion shown below. Applicants must meet all three criteria to be eligible for funding (some exceptions apply for SAR – see bottom of page for details).

Criterion 1: Be a volunteer

  • For the purpose of the SAR fund, volunteer means a member of a search and rescue organisation approved by NZSAR. This includes, but is not necessarily limited too: LandSAR, Coastguard, Surf Life Saving, Police SAR squad members, Police SAR squad reserves, RCCNZ, AREC.
  • For CDEM funding this is a person who volunteers for an approved Civil Defence Emergency Emergency Management Group. This includes council employees who are not employed as a CDEM professional, volunteer Response Teams (RT) who have an MoU with the appropriate CDEM Group and/or persons approved by the CDEM Group who work in or provide support to a CDEM EOC, ECC or NCC.

Criterion 2: Be a New Zealand citizen or resident

2a: A New Zealand citizen and provide an original or certified copy of one or more of the following documents:

  • a New Zealand birth certificate; or
  • a New Zealand passport; or
  • a New Zealand certificate of citizenship; or
  • a NZ drivers licence if registered and verified in NSI.

2b: A New Zealand permanent resident and provide an original or certified copy of one or more of the following documents:

  • a) a passport with a current returning residency class visa; or
  • b) a passport, and letter or email, confirming current returning residency class visa followed by confirmation with Immigration New Zealand (where appropriate); or
  • c) a certificate of identity from Immigration New Zealand if the student is a refugee; or
  • d) a NZ drivers licence if registered and verified in NSI.

Criterion 3: Complete all TEO enrolment requirements

  • Tertiary Education Organisations (TEO’s) have mandatory reporting requirements to Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) for all enrollments.  TEO’s collect various data on behalf of TEC.  Completion of the data is a requirement for all TEC funded training courses.
  • Persons who enrol on training events but fail to complete enrolment, supply the necessary supporting data as requested or supply false information shall be billed for their training event.

International Students- Search and Rescue Training

Where international students are members of formed LandSAR Groups they may still be eligible for fee-free training providing the prior approval of NZSAR is sought to enrol as if they are not international students.

A “person required to be treated as if they are not an international student” is an international student who expects to stay in New Zealand on a visa for at least six months after their enrolment in a search and rescue training course or activity in New Zealand funded by payments made under this TEC/NZSAR training fund.

The intent of this clause is aimed predominantly at specialist LandSAR Groups, who often have limited local eligible members (small communities) and/or have seasonal workers with specialist skill sets.

Approval of international students may be sought by LandSAR persons here.