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Emergency Communications

In any emergency, telephone 111 and ask for POLICE. If you are calling from outside New Zealand the telephone number is +64 4 381 2000 and ask for New Zealand Police.

The New Zealand Police’s Visitors to New Zealand Safety Guide is also a great resource.

Emergency Beacons

The International Cospas-Sarsat System has ceased satellite monitoring of 121.5/243 MHz beacons. All beacon owners and users should replace their 121.5/243 MHz beacons with 406 MHz beacons.

Only 406 MHz beacons are now detected by the Cospas-Sarsat satellite system. This affects all maritime beacons (EPIRBs), all aviation beacons (ELTs) and all personal beacons (PLBs).However, other devices (such as man overboard systems and homing transmitters) that operate at 121.5 MHz and do not rely on satellite detection will not be affected by the phase-out of satellite processing at 121.5 MHz.

You can find out more about New Zealand’s Emergency Beacons by visiting

Emergency LAND Communications:

Read an overview on Radio Communications (including mountain radios, PLBs, satellite phones & cell phones).

Find information on Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs).

Find more safety tips about Outdoors Communication from the Mountain Safety Council.

Emergency BOATING Communications:

All recreational boaters are encouraged to complete a “2 minute form” available from the New Zealand Coastguard website.

Find information on EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons).

Emergency AIR Communications:

All VFR pilots are encouraged to file a flight plan, which is easily done via the Airways New Zealand IFIS website.

Find information on Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs).

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