Call for more Radio Operators following busy summer across Bay of Plenty and Coromandel

With New Zealand’s eastern coast enjoying a long, hot summer, Coastguard volunteers on the end of radios and on the water have been kept busy. Over the main holiday period volunteers across the area responded to 184 incidents – with January 30 the busiest day of the season. 

As water activities continue to grow in popularity, Coastguard Communications East, based in Mount Maunganui, is now looking to boost numbers to have even more trained Radio Operators next summer.

Communications East Coordinator Heather Lawrence said volunteer Radio Operators are the lifeline of Coastguard, the connection between our volunteers on the water, boaties and emergency services. 

“As a radio operator, every day is different. One minute you could be taking trip reports from boaties and issuing weather reports, the next taking an incident call from the public and communicating closely with other agencies such as Police and St John to help save lives,” she said. 

“Radio operators are a core part of our Coastguard family so we are keen to welcome new team players who are passionate about maritime safety and supporting their local community.”

Always thought you've had a voice for radio or want to be a part of the team saving lives at sea? As a volunteer Radio Operator, individuals will be part of the national Communications Team: the main point of contact for boaties and our rescue crews. All training is provided free and Coastguard NZ qualifications VHF Radio Operator, Dayskipper and Boatmaster can be obtained at no cost. No experience is needed – all you need are sharp keyboard skills and good hearing! 

For more information, please contact Heather, Communications East Coordinator at 0800 262 784 ext. 872 or visit

For more information, contact: 
Ben Parsons 
Coastguard New Zealand Senior Communications Advisor 
[email protected]

Thanks to our life-saving partners:
  • Auckland Council
  • Northland Regional Council
  • Waikato Regional Council
  • Hutchwilco
  • Marine Deals
  • Tower
  • Kordia
  • Hyundai
  • Line7
  • Century Batteries
  • Half Moon Bay
  • NZCT
  • Lotteries Grants Board
  • Lion Foundation
  • Pub Charity