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Enhancing Safety: VHF Radio Repeater Installation Revolutionizes Emergency Response in the Kaimai Mamaku Area

Community Project Installs VHF Radio Repeater

Waikato and Bay of Plenty, 18th August 2023

In an inspiring display of community collaboration and dedication, Youth Search and Rescue (YSAR) has successfully completed a landmark project to reinstate a vital VHF radio repeater in the Kaimai Mamaku area. This repeater, equipped with cutting-edge technology including live tracking capability, solar chargers, wind generators, and fixed and portable repeaters, will serve as a critical communication hub for Search and Rescue (SAR) operations, emergency response training, and various community charities.

In early 2018, the original Search and Rescue repeater located at the summit of Kaimai was removed for servicing but unfortunately was not replaced. This left a significant communication gap, impeding the ability of SAR teams to respond swiftly and efficiently to emergencies in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions. Since then, those needing communications in the area were forced to endure challenging treks up the Kaimai Summit to manually install temporary communication equipment during crucial moments, often facing adverse weather conditions.

Recognizing this urgent need, YSAR spearheaded a community initiative to restore the repeater system. The project involved the installation of a state-of-the-art digital DMR frequency repeater, fortified with renewable energy sources for sustainability. This innovative setup not only ensures seamless communication for SAR efforts but also extends its benefits on the YSAR frequency to two local charities Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust, Ngamanawa Corporation, and Ngatuhoa Lodge in the Kaimai Mamaku area, providing essential connectivity in regions with limited cellular coverage.

The reinstated repeater system stands as a beacon of preparedness for the community. By establishing a reliable radio communication hub, lives will be saved, and emergency response capabilities will be significantly enhanced for years to come. The repeater will also serve as a crucial tool for training and skill-building, empowering emergency responders across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions.

The successful realization of this project underscores the power of collaboration between technology companies, the community, and philanthropic organizations. YSAR’s commitment to problem-solving has resulted in a faster, more efficient emergency response, made possible by the collective efforts of dedicated volunteers and industry experts. This endeavor aligns with the New Zealand Police’s reliance on community volunteers, underscoring the invaluable role of collaboration in ensuring the safety and well-being of all.

Acknowledgments and Gratitude

YSAR extends our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals and organizations for their unwavering support:

Supporting Organizations:

  • Eagle Technology Group: For their exceptional expertise in systems design, construction, and installation at a significantly reduced cost.
  • Just Sheds: For generously providing the repeater shed.
  • Wireless Nation: For their invaluable and continued contribution of a data connection to YSAR.
  • Scott Trillo: For the provision and installation of a concrete pad
  • Aaron Topman: For his work at height expertise.


This collaborative effort serves as a testament to the spirit of community and the transformative impact that can be achieved when like-minded individuals and organizations join forces. With the newly installed VHF radio repeater, the Kaimai Mamaku area is now equipped to face emergencies with increased readiness and efficacy.

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YSAR is classified as a Donor Organisation and your donations are tax deductible – please make contact for further information