New Zealand Land Search and Rescue, New Zealand

The client

New Zealand Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR), with approximately 3,500 trained volunteers, is the national volunteer organisation assisting the Police and public in suburban/urban and wilderness/rural search and rescue operations. 

LandSAR has over 61 LandSAR groups covering New Zealand. In addition there are also 18 specialist teams including LandSAR Search Dog and LandSAR Caving, plus Alpine Cliff Rescue and River SAR operating in areas where there is a requirement for these specialist skills.


LandSAR search and rescue volunteers never know when their services will be required. They needed critical communications that were ready to 'grab and go'. Rugged portables that could handle the harsh environments that LandSAR operates in were imperative, as was the ability to charge the portables on-site during incidents.


Tait provided the LandSAR teams with tough TP8100 portable radios and transportable chargers in a rugged Pelican case for a rapidly deployable solution they could rely on, knowing their radios were charged and ready to go. The transportable solution allows LandSAR to continue charging batches of radio batteries throughout events.


Tait and LandSAR New Zealand have an ongoing strong partnership which provides many benefits including LandSAR groups receiving discounted rates on TP8100 series portable radios and accessories. This provides national consistency and helps ensure the safety of volunteers while they search for the lost, missing and injured. The suitability of the Tait rapidly deployable solution was proven yet again through the LandSAR response to the Christchurch Earthquake known as 'Operation West'. LandSAR provided a crucial reconnaissance and reassurance service to the public as well as situational awareness to the Emergency Management team.

LandSAR CEO, Harry Maher, says, "Our volunteers are highly skilled and often they're tackling some of the country's toughest terrain in extreme conditions. Having more Tait radios will result in more efficient and effective communication between the search teams and the Incident Control Point. Messages can be relayed more quickly and there's less chance of messages not getting through and this can improve the chances of finding the lost, injured or missing. Good radio communications are the backbone of any search operation and we need the radio equipment to be of the best quality. 

"Additionally the safety of our volunteers when they're out in the field is a top priority for LandSAR. Having good radio communications is an integral part of our safety management system and the support of Tait Communications greatly assists us to keep our volunteers safe," Mr Maher concludes. 

Brett Smythe, Regional General Manager, Tait Communications Asia-Pacific says LandSAR is the perfect partner for the Christchurch-based company because the organization provides an important safety net for outdoor enthusiasts. 

"Tait Communications is pleased to be able to help out and partner with LandSAR NZ. We really admire the work that this, mostly volunteer, organization does in partnership with NZ Police and others," said Mr Smythe. 

Mr Maher says Tait radios are recognized around the world by emergency services as being among the best and having them as standard issue for LandSAR is a major step up for the organization. 

"Ultimately, this partnership will benefit all New Zealanders because with more radios our ability to communicate across difficult terrain will be better, we'll be able to narrow our search area and locate the lost, missing and injured more swiftly," Mr Maher says.

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