WanderSearch (also known as Wandatrak in some districts) supports people living in the community who are at risk of going missing to live healthy active lifestyles. It is deemed an Essential Health Service by the Ministry of Health during the Covid-19 Level 4 Alert period.

The WanderSearch system provides at risk people with a small device that can be found by Police and trained volunteers using specialised equipment.  For other ways to support at risk people visit the Safer Walking website.


WanderSearch Groups

WanderSearch is provided throughout New Zealand by charitable organisations; either WanderSearch Trusts, local Alzheimers organisation or LandSAR.   We rely largely on volunteers and charitable funding.

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Police and LandSAR volunteers with Wander Search equipment in Invercargill. Photo credit Southland Search and Rescue Police work with LandSAR using wander search equipment, to find a missing person. Photo Manawatu Alzheimers
LandSAR volunteers using wander search equipment Dunedin, NZ. Photo credit Dunedin District Land Search and Rescue Committee
Dunedin twin 4-year old boys who are autistic wearing their Wander Search pendant devices (aid to location if they go missing). The boys are sitting on their mum, who is more confident that if her lads do go missing, they have the devices on them making a search to locate them much faster. Photo credit The Sun, Dunedin

WanderSearch in the community

People who can benefit from having a device have a cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism, brain injury and Down Syndrome and may need assistance to find their way home. WanderSearch supports people who have a risk of going missing by providing a device that assists in locating that person if necessary.


The Secret of Success

WanderSearch is useful for any person with a cognitive impairment who has a risk of going missing and where other technologies are not suitable.  It provides peace of mind for the person using the device and their family/whanau, friends and caregivers that should they go missing there are methods to assist in locating them quickly.  This supports people living and participating with freedom in their communities.


When WanderSearch makes a difference

People who use a WanderSearch device are found much faster compared to people without any sort of location device. For people who have frail health or unaware of environmental hazards the time taken to locate them can be critical.

Police with Land Search and Rescue find a lost person (model) in Wellington Water Front using the Wander Search system. Photo credit: NZ Police

Safer Walking and WanderSearch

The Safer Walking Framework is about supporting, educting and reducing the risk of people with cognitive impairment going missing. WanderSearch is one tool, for other ideas and ways to reduce the risk of going missing visit the  Safer Walking website.


How to Get a Device

To be issued with a WanderSearch device (also known as wanda trak or wandatrak which is a brand name of the devices made in the South Island) you must contact your local group (click on the find us button) that manages the programme in your area. Each Group can advise on their issuing criteria and costs (if any).

Wander Search Radio Frequency Devices, WandaTrak brand in three forms, pendant, wrist device and key-ring pendant
Find Us

Find a WanderSearch group close to you

Safer Walking Profile

Document for people at risk of going missing

Contact Us

Contact us for further information

New Zealand land Search and Rescue Rapa TaiwhenuaLogo

Land Search and Rescue New Zealand (LandSAR) employs the National Safer Walking Coordinator to give effect to the Safer Walking Framework. They maintain this website for the benefit of the public and groups delivering the WanderSearch Programme. 


We acknowledge the vision and work undertaken by the WanderSearch New Zealand Charitable Trust, in setting up the original WanderSearch New Zealand website.

Our sincere gratitude to Allan Pritchard former Trustee of WanderSearch Canterbury Charitable Trust for the website design and development of this site.

Credit to Allan Pritchard, Margie Sharkey and WanderSearch Canterbury Charitable Trust; NZ Police; Dunedin District Land Search and Rescue Committee;  
Southland Search and Rescue;
Alzheimers Manawatu; 
Waikato WanderSearch Trust;
The Star, Dunedin;

NZ Police is one of the associated agencies involved with Wander Search
NZSAR logo

New Zealand Search and Rescue (NZSAR) Council provides strategic leadership to the New Zealand Search and Rescue Sector, including WanderSearch.  NZSAR funds LandSAR to provide services in support of the Safer Walking Framework.