This year, the Luggate Perfect Woman Competition has chosen to raise money for the Wanaka Search and Rescue who provide search and rescue support for the lost, missing or injured.

The Wanaka Search and Rescue are made up of 80-odd volunteers and is affiliated with the NZ LandSAR.

They operate in the Mt Aspiring National Park and the Wanaka lakes area, from the high country to the river valleys – as well as the town environs. Wanaka Search and Rescue is one of the busiest back-country search and rescue groups in New Zealand, averaging 45-55 operations in a busy year.

Given that most rescues happen between November and March, that’s a huge commitment by the all-volunteer team. Their teams include bush, river rescue and specialist alpine, as well as a marine team covering lakes Wanaka and Hawea. These teams are coordinated by the incident management team that works with the Wanaka Police and the Wellington’s Rescue Coordination Centre to run the SAR operations.

The Wanaka Search and Rescue exist solely on grants and donations. No-one gets billed for being rescued. And no-one gets paid for being what’s been called ‘the good bastards who get out of a warm bed on a cold night to go in search of perfect strangers”. They need money for equipment, for training, for internet, radio  and satellite communications and for the mundane essentials like rates, insurance and power.

Wanaka Search and Rescue is a registered charity and all donations are tax deductible.

If you want to be part of this in any way please contact the Wanaka Search and Rescue or the Luggate Hotel.