We operate under the umbrella of Land Search & Rescue New Zealand (LSAR) and work under the immediate control of the New Zealand Police when a search is underway. Tauranga LandSAR is a volunteer organisation. We require Operational Field Members to participate in working the search environment and Incident Management Team members to participate in the planning, researching and logistics of the search.
Our local searches range from missing dementia sufferers or children who have wandered off in an urban area to lost hunters or trampers in the bush and locating despondents. We can also be asked to assist Tauranga Coastguard and Surf Lifesaving in conducting shoreline searches of beaches, lakes and rivers. In most cases, searches are resolved within 12 hours and often much sooner, but we do get the occasional longer (overnight/multi-day) search as well. Searches take place in all kinds of weather and can occur at any time of the day or night. We would typically have between 18 and 24 callouts per year of which some may be to assist other SAR groups in multi-day searches.
A potential volunteer should have the appropriate backcountry skills, knowledge and experience to operate safely in a search and rescue environment, along with a commitment to learning. We can train you from there. All LandSAR volunteers undergo training to attain and maintain role competency to ensure LandSAR groups possess the range of professional skills, local knowledge of terrain and conditions, and experience for search and rescue incidents in their locality and region.
To be useful on a typical bush SAR operation, you need to be fit enough to keep moving in rough country for 8 hours at a time. Stamina rather than speed is a prerequisite.
Volunteers must provide food, clothing and equipment for their own personal needs. In addition to the usual outdoor clothing, footwear, storm gear, gloves and headwear, LandSAR volunteers should pack enough food/drink for at least 24 hours. Volunteers should also be prepared to stay out overnight and are expected to liaise with fellow team members about tents/flys/bivvy bags.
A NZ Police security clearance check is required for all applications.
A commitment to being involved is essential.
If you are interested in applying for a Tauranga LandSAR membership please contact us.
Senior members will endeavour to meet with you within a couple of weeks of your application being received to learn a bit more about you, your skills, and to answer any questions. Prospective members will then be invited to participate in a local overnight training to demonstrate their bushcraft and navigation skills. This will help you decide if Tauranga LandSAR is for you and to give us an opportunity to assess your suitability as a volunteer.