YSAR is a three year training programme consisting of outdoor education, search and rescue and emergency response methodolgies, and leadership and incident management


YSAR MISSION – We are a world leading youth education provider.  Our Search and Rescue and Emergency Management programme is delivered with a focus on innovation and technology. 


Project-based and experiential learning is a comprehensive approach to learning that is designed to engage students in investigation of authentic problems. Our projects have have a SAR and CDEM focus and have the potential to help save lives and rescue the lost and injured faster and more effectively.

Details of the 2020 projects will be listed shortly and will include; Thermal Imaging, Standard Operating Procedures for UAV deployment in SAR and CDEM, Tracking on IOT, Field Force Intelligence, Deployment of assets through RPAS, Development of MapSAR – Geospatial predictive analysis and planning for SAROPS, Geospatial preplanning for CDEM and SAR

Our partners in our projects; Eagle Technology Group Ltd, Zespri, Wireless Nation, Covertex


Register your interest by applying online. Positions are limited in each area and will fill up fast. Applications are now open for YSAR 2020.


Check out the latest from YSAR New Zealand. You can also visit us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


YSAR takes college students from all walks of life and teaches them outdoors, leadership and management skills which are beneficial in all aspects of life. 


Within the first weeks of the program, we will talk about the best gear options, so do not rush out and buy new things too soon.

As a standard for YSAR exercise you will be required to have the following items. Instruction will be given to you when you start as to what the gear requirements are. We do not expect you to have all the equipment on this list the first month of YSAR.

Youth Search & Rescue (YSAR) enables students to become active volunteers in emergency response organisations. Our independent, non-profit training organisation inspires future leaders with a focus on practical skills, technology, innovation and community


Youth Search and Rescue trains youth with the necessary skills to enable safe practice and emergency response.


Keep up to date with all key YSAR activities and events by registering for our calendar updates.


To apply to become a member of YSAR, you must be aged between 14 and 16 years, find out more here.


YSAR is supported by a range of partners. Our Strategic partners are essential, find out more here.


YSAR operates thanks to the assistance from our supporters, we have several ways to donate. Donations are tax deductible.


Discover innovative and exciting opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

YSAR COVID-19 update, Sunday 30th August 2020

Regional disparity in alert levels Thanks for being patient with us as we manage the Covid-19 response transitioning through the Levels. Within the Covid-19 response planning, there will be differences in response depending on where you are in the country. As of 1300...

YSAR adapt with online learning

A new online learning system currently in development will allow YSAR to remain resilient in a post-Level 4 lockdown world filled with uncertainties. The non-profit organisation aims to enable young people to develop the skills necessary to participate and become active volunteers in emergency response organisations.

YSAR COVID-19 update, Wednesday 12th August 2020

Regional disparities in alert levels - Auckland YSAR group back to virtual classrooms Thanks for being patient with us as we manage the Covid-19 response transitioning through the Levels. We will find going forward with the Covid-19 response planning there will be...

YSAR COVID-19 update, Tuesday 2nd June 2020

Return to face to face training at YSAR The announcement by the Prime Minister stating that indoor gatherings can include up to 100 people means that we can resume face to face training while at Alert Level 2. We can confirm that classroom and weekend training...

YSAR COVID-19 update, Monday 18th May 2020

Transition from Covid-19 Level 3 to Level 2 It has certainly been an unusual couple of months responding to the Covid-19 virus. Well done making it this far. Some of you may be feeling anxious about getting back into our training program, you may have known someone...

YSAR COVID-19 update, Friday March 23th 2020 1300hrs

YSAR Covid-19 update 3 Instructors, students and parents Based on the information available today following the Government announcement, as of 1400hrs 23rd  March 2020, YSAR Management and Board of Trustees will be suspending all face to face week evening and...

YSAR Covid -19 update, Friday March 20th 2020

COVID - 19 Information update I trust you are all coping well in these unprecedented times. This message is to give confidence to parents and students that our decision to proceed with the YSAR exercise and training will be based principally on student, instructor and...

YSAR Covid -19 update, Tuesday March 17th 2020

Covid-19 update 17th March 2020 YSAR Management continues to monitor Health Department Guidelines as they are released. The health and wellbeing of instructors, students, volunteers and families is of paramount concern to us. At this stage, we remain committed to...

YSAR Covid -19 update, Friday March 6th 2020

Postponement of weekend training exercise -  6th - 8th March 2020 Due to unforeseen circumstances we have decided to postpone the Ak YSAR first exercise this weekend 6th – 8th March and YSAR training Monday 9th March. Rationale - In short; positive diagnosis of...

Integrated SAR Systems – ISARS

Integrated SAR systems  - ISARS This project is focused on research and development and future focused SAR systems. This project explores possibilities to integrate 5 levels of operational tasks on one integrated system. It is understood that this project is horizon...

S.T.E.M is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths education. At YSAR, we focus on these areas because they are deeply entwined in the real world and in how students learn and succeed. We believe STEM skills are essential for the future of search and rescue and emergency management and that our young people will help implement and integrate these new innovations.

Being involved in YSAR has opened so many doors for me. It helped me develop the confidence, discipline, strength and character that enables me to reach my goals. YSAR only built and strengthened my love for the outdoors and through the training and knowledge I have received through the programme, I am able to give it the respect it deserves. I have been pushed to my limits mentally physically and emotionally and have had the time of my life. I’ve achieve things I never imagined I could accomplish and the people you do it with are friends for a lifetime, I cannot recommend it  enough.

Laura Geraerts


When I first started YSAR I was a very shy teenager with almost zero self confidence and only a small group of friends. The thought of going to my first meeting as a year 1 student made me so anxious and scared that I almost didn’t go!
Fast track to now, I am a completely different person. YSAR not only taught me specialised skills that set me apart from my peers, it also gave me confidence and allowed me to break out of my shell. I formed life long friendships with people of different ages and backgrounds and allow me to learn core qualities such as effective teamwork and leadership. I completed the 3 year course in 2014 but it still influences my life positively through employment and opportunities because of the qualifications I have completed and the skills I have learnt. I cannot thank Steve and the team who supported me through my experience enough!! The personal growth I have made because of YSAR has been exponential!

Chloe Morgan


YSAR has been such a great find for our two teenage boys, one of whom is currently involved. It’s personal development and practical/life skills, interaction with wonderful role models and friendships with ‘their tribe’ – other kids who like to get outside and do stuff! This organisation has had, and continues to have, a profoundly positive impact on their lives, largely because of the wonderful people who are involved. We are enormously appreciative of the volunteers who support and push and impart knowledge and give our sons the confidence to tackle all sorts of challenges. Thank you.

Sue Hoffart





We are grateful for all of the support we have been given:

MacKay Strathnaver Trust
Foundation North
Boating Education