Land Search and Rescue in New Zealand
Paperback | English
Search and Rescue in New Zealand started off unofficially as a bunch of trampers or climbers going out to look for a lost party. Searchers were weighed down by heavy radios and equipment with cumbersome packs. There were no smartphones or GPSs, and helicopters rarely deployed. If found injured or dead, the missing party was carried out on a stretcher. Fast forward to 2020 and Search and Rescue is now a highly organized system of volunteers who work as a support agency to the New Zealand Police. Communications, technology and rescue equipment have changed dramatically, helicopters are readily engaged and lost parties are rescued much faster. But the one thing that hasn’t changed is the commitment of the staff and volunteers, who drop everything and go to assist, often in uncomfortable and dangerous conditions – the very conditions that sparked the search – and the families who remain behind in full support.