Ramada Resort Wanaka was proud to present the Wanaka Search and Rescue team with a cheque for $2,000 this week as part of its commitment to supporting local community organisations. The resort team raised the funds through a series of sausage sizzles and other fundraising drives in 2017.

Wanaka Search and Rescue is one of the busiest back-country search and rescue groups in New Zealand, averaging 45-55 operations in a busy year. The team is affiliated with NZ LandSAR and operates in the Mt Aspiring National Park and Wanaka lakes areas, from the high country to the river valleys, as well as the town environs.

A cheque was presented to the team this week by Ramada Wanaka Resort Manager Kaydee George and members of the resort team.

“Wanaka Search and Rescue volunteers provide an invaluable service to the community and to visiting tourists. We are very pleased to be able to show our thanks and support in this way,” Ms George said.

Wanaka Search and Rescue operates in some of New Zealand’s most mountainous and rugged terrain, including glaciers and high alpine areas above the permanent snowline, rivers and canyons and precipitous bush-clad gorges and bluffs. Mount Aspiring National Park is a huge and diverse area comprising mountains, rivers and dense forest. The team of dedicated volunteers receive no pay for the search and rescues they coordinate and depend solely on donations for equipment, training, internet, radio and satellite communications and essentials like rates, insurance and power.

Wanaka Search and Rescue spokesperson Phil Melchior said, “We are immensely grateful to Ramada Wanaka for their support. We survive entirely on donations. We get no government grants and when we get a donation that comes from the community, where people have gone to a lot of personal effort on our behalf, we are doubly grateful.”