Funding boost for search and rescue

  • Simon Bridges

Transport Minister Simon Bridges has announced a funding boost for search and rescue activity in the lead-up to the busy summer season.

The Government will provide more than $35.7 million to search and rescue agencies over the next four financial years, an increase of $8.4 million.

“New Zealand’s search and rescue work relies on the efforts of more than 12,000 volunteers who risk their own lives to save others. Government funding is designed to support the valuable contribution these people make,” Mr Bridges says.

In 2015/16 there were more than 2,600 search and rescue responses, resulting in 195 lives saved, 730 people rescued from an at-risk location, and over 1,000 more assisted in low risk situations that would have become more dangerous.

“The need for search and rescue is growing and changing, and challenges aren’t limited to the bush, mountains or water. The number of suburban searches involving people with cognitive impairment, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, have increased 17 percent since 2011, to around four per week,” Mr Bridges says.

“This funding boost will allow search and rescue agencies to improve coordination, manage health and safety, update data systems and increase preparedness for a major response.”

Search and Rescue agencies encourage anyone planning on a bit of adventure this summer to take a look at before they head away.