Service, commitment, and operational excellence honoured at NZ Search and Rescue Awards

On Tuesday 18 May 2021, the Hon Michael Wood, Minister for Transport presented the 2020 New Zealand Search and Rescue Awards at the Parliament Buildings.

These awards are presented annually in recognition of outstanding achievements within New Zealand’s search and rescue region, which covers 30 million square kilometres.

Awards given in the Operations category recognise significant rescue operations that took place between 1 January and 31 December 2020. Awards given in the support category recognise the contributions of individuals to search and rescue in New Zealand.

One Gold Award and up to four Certificates of Achievement are awarded in each category. Twenty-nine nominations were received for 2020, with two Gold Awards and seven Certificates of Achievement being awarded at this year’s ceremony.

“We were very impressed by the calibre of this year’s Award winners,” says New Zealand Search and Rescue Secretariat Manager Duncan Ferner.

“Some of these individuals have worked diligently behind the scenes to ensure that people in distress have a higher probability of being found. Others have headed out into atrocious weather conditions to rescue people at risk.”

“Every one of them has sacrificed time with their family and friends to provide a vital service to New Zealand. Without their efforts, fewer families would be reunited or loved ones returned home.”

Manager of Police Command and Emergency Management, Senior Sergeant Rebecca Lockwood says “When people call for help, a whole network of volunteers and specialists come together as one professional unit.

“Teams of volunteers and people from a range of organisations risk their own lives and are a great example of teams working together for a shared goal – to bring lost, injured and missing people home. LandSAR, Alpine Rescue teams, harbourmasters, Coastguard, medical specialists, Heli-rescues, amateur radio emergency communicators along with many other groups selflessly work together. We are very grateful to have such willing participants and these awards are well-deserved.”

“Police would like to especially acknowledge Sergeant Vince Ranger who is awarded for his service and commitment to search and rescue. He is receiving a Certificate of Achievement – Operational Activity. He is soon to retire after 42 years police service, 22 of which has been with Search and Rescue. We also want to acknowledge our SAR teams – Taupō Police, especially Sergeant Toby Officer, National Park Police, Senior Constable Conrad Smith along with Nelson Bays Police SAR, Senior Constable Jude Yeoman, says Senior Sergeant Lockwood.

Award Winners are:

Gold Award – Operational

The Gold Award for Operational Activity is awarded for a very significant contribution to search and rescue in the New Zealand Search and Rescue Region during 2020.

Bernie Pepper, Mike Beausoleil and Hannah Latta (Life Flight)

For the rescue of an adult and child swept out to sea near Wainuiomata on 15 November 2020.

Gold Award – Support

The Gold Award for Support Activity is awarded for a very significant contribution to search and rescue in the New Zealand Search and Rescue Region.

Tim Hogan

For his commitment to search and rescue through the creation and ongoing maintenance of the Mobile Locate software service.

Certificates of Achievement – Operational Activity

The NZSAR Certificates of Achievement for Operational Activity are awarded for an important contribution to search and rescue in the New Zealand Search and Rescue Region during 2020.

Aoraki Mt Cook Alpine Cliff Rescue Team

Aoraki Mt Cook Incident Management Team

Otago Rescue Helicopter

Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand

For the rescue of two climbers near Copland Pass on 10 January 2020.

Coastguard Nelson

Nelson Police SAR Squad

Tasman District Harbourmaster Team

Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand

For the rescue of six people from SV Ocean Gem near Rangitoto ki te Tonga / D’Urville Island on 18-19 March 2020.

LandSAR Turangi

Ruapehu Alpine Rescue Organisation

Taupō Police SAR Squad

National Park Police SAR Squad

Tukino Ski Patrol

For the rescue of nine climbers from the Whangaehu Glacier on Mt Ruapehu on 26-27 September 2020.

Certificates of Achievement – Support Activity

The NZSAR Certificates of Achievement for Support Activity are awarded for an important contribution to search and rescue in the New Zealand Search and Rescue Region.

Max Corboy

For his service and commitment to Surf Life Saving New Zealand and the Otago Emergency Call Out Squad.

Sergeant Vincent Ranger

For his service and commitment to search and rescue.

Dr Charmaine Tate

For her service and commitment to search and rescue.

Sam Milligan

For his service and commitment to LandSAR and WanderSearch in the Wairarapa region.

/NZ Police Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.