New radio and mapping equipment following Meridian Energy grant

Search and rescue operations in New Zealand’s Upper Waitaki and Mackenzie Basin area will be safer and more accurate following a grant from Meridian Energy’s Waitaki Community Fund.

Omarama Search and Rescue has received $8000 from Meridian to purchase new mapping software and radio communications equipment, which will enable better detection of people who are lost and will make search and rescue operations more efficient.

Constable Nayland Smith said the majority of areas the organisation provides services to have little or no cell phone coverage and radio coverage is also limited.

“The new handsets for our radios will send a signal back to the incident management team showing on the mapping software the exact location of the search and rescue member, in real time. This will ensure that an area is correctly searched and it’s also safer for our volunteers, as we’ll know exactly where they are at any given time,” Mr Smith said.

The Duntroon and District Development Association has also received $2000 from the Meridian Energy Waitaki Community Fund for a new carved archway to be installed in the entranceway to the Duntroon Wetland.

The Association has managed the wetland on behalf of the wider Duntroon community for several years. In that time they have developed walking tracks, willows have been removed and plantings have been maintained.

In total, Meridian has awarded more than $78,000 to 13 projects in the latest round of funding from its Waitaki Community Fund.