AREC delivers communications services for a range of search and rescue and civil emergency events. We also assist community and sporting event organisers by providing operational safety and coordination communications.

Services Summary

Our services cover; communications operators, training, technical advice, infrastructure and equipment.  Our volunteers are trained to use many different forms of communications including High Frequency (HF), VHF/UHF, Satellite, fixed and portable repeaters, national radio communications networks and related IT and internet infrastructure. Whatever your communications needs are we can help.


AREC delivers high quality education, training and assessment of AREC volunteers and others on: The establishment and operation of essential radio and technology communications, and; Emergency radio communications message handling We utilise an extensive range to both online self-paced learning, classroom and practical in the field operational training.

Technical Advice

Our training is designed to deliver competent volunteers to deliver high quality advice and to support communications capability utilising AREC and emergency service provider assets.

Our Volunteers deliver independent cross Sector consultation, expert advice and guidance as required to support communications infrastructure for emergency service deployment as requested by our partners and clients including:

  • Radio repeater site planning and acquisition, engineering, licensing, and maintenance
  • Scheduled testing of communications and IT equipment, including diagnosis and resolution of radio communications equipment and related IT problems


AREC provides skilled, volunteer communications operators, fully versed in:

  • Emergency message handling
  • Communication protocols and procedures
  • Radio and communications technology
  • Set up and operation of a range of fixed and transportable comms equipment

We work as an integral part of the Incident Management Teams, providing the critical communications link between search headquarters and the searchers in the field.

Our teams provide support to Civil Defence centres, Emergency Operation and Emergency Coordination Centres and Welfare evacuation centres..

Infrastructure and Equipment – A vital link

AREC endeavours to provide and maintain suitable radio and communications technology equipment and infrastructure to enable our volunteers to provide a highly capable and responsive emergency communication service.

Experience has shown us that power, cellular networks and the internet can be vulnerable in the first few days following a significant event. Overloaded cellular networks and batteries going flat in a prolonged power outage are common issues. AREC maintain and manage a radio network infrastructure that is ready and available should the need arise. The radio network infrastructure we build and maintain means communications can remain open in any emergency. We have a range of portable and handheld communication equipment

Volunteers - Trained and ready for action

AREC 375 fully equipped Volunteers provide communications services for civil emergencies, search and rescue and community events.

The word amateur in AREC recognises that nearly all operational members of the organization are unpaid volunteers. Our volunteers donate thousands of hours of their time every year in providing essential communications services. We have over 300 trained highly skilled experienced, technically competent communications experts covering the length and breadth of New Zealand.

All our volunteers have access to training and development programs at all levels, from beginners to advanced experts. There is a range of different volunteer activities you can become involved in from research and development to on-the-ground support in a search and rescue mission or maintaining the radio network or programming the radios.

Our volunteers live up to core values of:

  • Voluntary Service
  • Technical Excellence
  • Safety Conscious
  • Prepared & Responsive
  • People Centred Culture

Become a member of AREC today!
As a member of AREC, you enjoy local and national training, the opportunity to participate in SAR exercises and search operations and take part in meetings in your local district with like-minded people.