Coastguard New Zealand generally is focused on marine search and rescue and boating education. Its units operate 78 small rescue boats.
The Royal New Zealand Coastguard is a unique charity that has many similarities to both the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. It is a civilian organization tasked with search-and-rescue and boating safety responsibilities. To accomplish these two important missions, the Coastguard relies on charitable fundraising, a dedicated cadre of volunteers, and a small paid staff.
While it can trace its roots to 1898 and the creation of the Sumner Lifeboat Institute, the modern-day Coastguard New Zealand was stood up in 1976 as part of a streamlining and reorganization effort that placed all the volunteer maritime search-and-rescue units scattered across the country under one flag to establish a unified organization. According to its official website, highlights of Coastguard New Zealand activities for the most recent fiscal year ending 30 June 2017 included: