about us


Wakatipu Search and Rescue was established in the early 1980’s.  Our objective is to provide search and rescue expertise to the people of the Wakatipu in a professional, timely and competent manner, to rescue, or retrieve the lost, injured, ill or missing and bring them home to their loved ones, and also offer our expertise to assist adjacent LandSAR areas.

Often the only insight into the world of Search and Rescue the general public ever see, is a brief glimpse on the news

In reality Search and Rescue goes way beyond these glimpses.  It is an extensive emergency service performed by specialists, police and civilian volunteers. When someone is lost, injured, ill or missing the task of locating and extracting them is delegated to Search and Rescue.  Each area of Search and Rescue employs techniques specific to the circumstance.  The general field of Search and Rescue includes many specialty sub-fields typically determined by the type of terrain the search is conducted over.  These include mountain rescue, ground search and rescue, urban search and rescue dogs.  Unpaid volunteers offer their skills 24 hours a day, seven days a week, often in extreme weather and testing terrain at no cost to the community or the subject. This can sometimes involve days or weeks at a time.  On average Wakatipu Search and Rescue have 20 call outs a year.  The terrain and the distances in the Wakatipu presents challenges to the teams in the field and the management groups supporting them.  All members train bi-monthly in all aspects of search and rescue and attend search and rescue exercises to keep their skill levels current with best search practice.  Wakatipu Search and Rescue is a volunteer organisation and is dependent on donations and fundraising for its revenue and resources to support its incredible team of volunteers.


New Zealand Land Search and Rescue Inc. (LandSAR) is the national volunteer organisation within New Zealand providing land search and rescue services to the Police and public of New Zealand.

We are a national volunteer organisation which provides land search and rescue services to lost, missing and injured all over New Zealand. 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 hours a day, 7 days a week via the New Zealand Police and the Rescue Coordination Centre. From April 2016 to March 2017 they donated over 33,121 hours to rescue operations and nearly 125,000 hours  to training and non operational tasks.

We have over 3,000 trained search and rescue volunteers who are members of 61 local groups covering the length and breadth of New Zealand. There are also 11 specialist teams such as LandSAR Search Dogs, LandSAR Caving, Alpine Cliff Rescue and Swift Water Rescue who operate on a local level where there is a requirement for these specialist skills.

The LandSAR Board is the governance body of the organisation and comprises of independent and elected Directors. The Board appoints the Chief Executive who delivers an annual management plan to support the Board’s strategies. He is supported by a small team of salaried National Support Office Staff.

The Patron of New Zealand Land Search and Rescue Incorporated is Lieutenant General Sir Jeremiah ‘Jerry’ Mateparae GNZM QSO.

We need your partnership

In order to provide our volunteer service to the community, we need your support

We are seeking companies that share our values and want to see our guests and residents taken care of while they are in Queenstown. If your business loves to support our precious environment and promotes tourism internationally, then working with us is a great way to show your staff and clients that your too care for their safety and well-being while they enjoy New Zealand’s finest region.

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