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New headquarters enhances search and rescue

Hon Simon Bridges

Minister of Transport
14 June 2016 Media Statement

New headquarters enhances search and rescue

New headquarters for the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) will enhance coordination of search and rescue operations across New Zealand, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.

Mr Bridges opened the new headquarters today in Avalon, in the Hutt Valley.

“With their partner agencies, the RCCNZ plays an incredibly important role in coordinating searches and saving lives across air, sea and on the land,” Mr Bridges says.

“Each year the Centre manages about 900 search and rescue operations covering 30 million square kilometres of search and rescue region. It is estimated more than 20,000 people in life-threatening situations have been saved since the RCCNZ was set up 12 years ago.

“The new site is already enabling enhanced interagency cooperation and communication in the current RCCNZ operation involving a stricken yacht 550km north of New Zealand, with the assistance of the New Zealand Defence Force and Police.”

The new headquarters allows staff to work across one floor with a purpose-designed operations room. An adjacent training room has been designed to be used for any major search and rescue operation and the IT system has also been future proofed.

“RCCNZ staff and colleagues from partner agencies can now work together in a more effective and coordinated environment that is scalable depending on the size of the operation which is essential for medium to large-scale operations,” Mr Bridges says.

The new headquarters follows other improvements in search and rescue facilities, including a new satellite receiving station built between Taupo and Rotorua.

ENDS

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