The review is now complete.
A step change is required for the recreational safety and the search and rescue systems to ensure they are effective and fit-for-purpose for the future, and the review makes a number of recommendations that will help us achieve that.
The review has recommended the following:
- System Strategy: finalise and implement a System Strategy to connect the two systems (the Recreational Safety and Search and Rescue System), ensuring there is a common set of strategic outcomes that reflect the critical safety services they deliver.
- Governance: implement revised and streamlined governance arrangements for the System. This includes disestablishment of the New Zealand Search and Rescue Council and establishment of a System Steward within the Ministry, to provide strategic policy advice and coordination across the System and adjacent systems.
- Volunteer Plan: adopt the proposed Volunteer Strategy and implement the Haumaru Tāngata Ki Uta Ki Tai – Volunteer Plan to provide more System-wide support to volunteers who form the backbone of the workforce across the System
- Forecast future demand: forecast future demand for frontline safety and search and rescue services, to inform the configuration of assets and people required in response, and investment requirements
- Funding: prepare applications for identified additional funding requirements to support continued service delivery including through the volunteers and the non-government organisations that support them, and adopt the proposed set of funding principles to inform government funding into the system.
The Associate Transport Minister has agreed to finalise and implement the System Strategy – Haumaru Tāngata Ki Uta Ki Tai, which includes the implementation of the Volunteer Strategy through the Volunteer Plan.
With the release of the review report, Te Manatū Waka will begin developing an implementation plan. Some of the recommendations can be progressed now. Other recommendations will require further advice and decisions, including:
- providing advice to Ministers in early 2024 regarding revised governance and leadership arrangements
- seeking investment for the System through the Fuel Excise Duty funding round in October 2024.