The Howick Volunteer Coastguard was established in 1956 under the name of the Howick Sea Rescue after the drowning of 3 local youths, and has been in continuous service ever since. It was initially Crewed and Managed by the members of the Howick Volunteer Fire Brigade.
In 1984 the organisation became The Howick Volunteer Coastguard and is a full member of the Royal New Zealand Coastguard Inc. It now consists of around 40 members who are all operational crew and live relatively close to the Headquarters at Howick Beach. The members are organised into 5 duty crews who voluntarily give up their time to attend weekly training sessions and to rescue people and boats. Callout is by pager 24 hrs a day, 365 days per year and the response time from the call until the boat is in the water is typically 5 minutes. Crews turnout to an average of 200 incidents per year. The Primary area of responsibility is the Tamaki Strait and the Firth of Thames across to Coromandel and down to Thames.
Howick's Statistics for the Coastguard year Calls for Assistance: 207 People Assisted: 489 Value of Craft Assisted $NZ 14,003,900 Total Volunteer Person hours: 8746
We run two Dedicated Rescue Vessels:
Howick Rescue 1 (HW1), launched in 2014, is a NAIAD 9.5m Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat powered by a 740HP Scania Diesel driving a Hamilton Jet Unit all mounted on a GT Products Trailer, and towed by a John Deere Tractor supplied by Farm Services.
It is equipped with Furuno Radar, GPS & 2 Icom VHF radios, Hella LED Navigation Lights , a UHF Radio, 406 EPIRB, Bury Cell Phone , Local Charts, Sonetics SON804 Wireless Crew Intercom, Life Jackets, Wet weather gear, First Aid Kits, Stretcher, Oxygen, Defibrillator, Life rings, Fire Pump, Fire Extinguishers, Loud Hailer, Towing ropes and has seating for 4 crew.
This is an ideal setup for being able to be launched and retrieved bow first in all weathers, and for close to shore searching. The boat is crewed by between 3 and 5 people.
Howick Rescue 2 (HR2) is a smaller 2 to 6 person 5.5m NAIAD RIB, powered by a 250HP Optimax Jet unit. Funding was obtained from . This boat is used in the local area if the larger boat is away on a more distant mission.
The Previous Howick Rescue 1 (HR1), launched in 2003 and primarily funded by a grant from The ASB Community Trust, was a NAIAD 9.5m Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat powered by a 550HP Scania Diesel driving a Hamilton Jet Unit all mounted on a GT Products Trailer, and towed by a John Deere Tractor supplied by Farm Services.
It was equipped with Radar, GPS & 2 VHF radios from Nav Station , Hella LED Navigation Lights , a UHF Radio, 406 EPIRB, Cell Phone , Local Charts, Garmin GMA340 Crew Intercom, Life Jackets, Wet weather gear, First Aid Kits, Stretcher, Oxygen, Defibrillator, Life rings, Fire Pump, Fire Extinguishers, Loud Hailer, Towing ropes and has seating for 5 crew.
This was an ideal setup for being able to be launched and retrieved bow first in all weathers, and for close to shore searching. The boat was crewed by between 3 and 5 people.
HR1 construction photos
This boat was sold to the Mana Coastguard Unit and is now in service at on the Kapiti Coast.
The Preceeding Howick Rescue 1 was a NAIAD 8.5 RIB, powered by a 350HP Yanmar Diesel and a Hamilton 273 Jet Unit. This boat was sold to the NZ Coastguard Federation and is now in service at Queenstown Coastguard
The previous Howick Rescue 2 (HR2) was a smaller 2 person NAIAD 4.3 RIB, powered by a 50HP Mercury Outboard motor. This boat is now serving as a training boat for Coastguard Northern Region.
If you are fit, over 18, live and work close to Howick beach (available most of the time), have a boating background and are keen to join, email anytime
Alternatively, fill out the application form and post it to us.
2015    2014    2013    2012    2011    2010    2009    2008    2007    2006    2005    2004    2003    2002
2012    2011    2010    2009    2008    2007    2006    2005    2004
TV ONE News article featuring Howick
2013 Rutherford Trophy Citation (pdf)
Howick's Past President was also Coastguard New Zealand's President - 2010 Eastern Courier
2010 Rutherford Trophy Citation (pdf)
2010 H & P Times Story (pdf)
2009 H & P Times Story (pdf)
2008 NZ Herald Story (pdf)
2008 Eastern Courier Story
2007 Rutherford Trophy Citation
We celebrated our 50 year anniversary on 24 Feb 2007 at Howick Beach, all were welcome.
Howick Awarded "CNR Rescue of the Year 2013"
Howick Awarded "CNR Unit of the Year 2006" (pdf)
HR1 Engine Fire April 2005
2004 HVCG Rutherford Trophy Citation
CNR Honorary Life member     2003 Sea lover citizen of the year
2003 AVGC Growth & Development AWARD     2003 HVCG Rutherford Trophy Citation
High Profile INCIDENT 2001
As Coastguard does not receive much direct funding from the Government, it is necessary for the members to be involved in raising funds. Up until this year, the Howick Volunteer Coastguard had sold the greatest number of tickets in the nation-wide NZ Coastguard lottery, and over the years that the lottery has been run, Howick have sold the greatest total number of tickets. Lottery Results. The money will be put towards supplying uniforms and protective clothing for our Volunteers. The new replacement boat (9.5m Naiad) was officially launched on 15/11/14.
EDUCATIONThe Howick Volunteer Coastguard offers various courses during the year in association with the Coastguard Boating Education Service.
We provide fully qualified and experienced tutors, who deliver the course content in our Beach premises.
The courses available are: New Zealand Day Skipper, Boatmaster, Coastal Navigation and Marine VHF Radio Operators Certificate.
Howick Coastguard Education will also visit local schools and institutions to talk about SAR and boating safety.
A Boatmaster course is also available via correspondence through the New Zealand Correspondence School in Wellington, NZ, ph 0800 659988
Ishihara Colour blindness test