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Terms and Conditions

Last updated February 2024.


Coastguard Membership

Coastguard is the charity saving lives at sea. All Search and Rescue and non-urgent services are provided by volunteers who respond to incidents on request.

These Terms & Conditions govern non-urgent Member services only. Coastguard’s Search and Rescue (SAR) response is provided free of charge and not bound by these Terms & Conditions.

Coastguard may amend these Terms & Conditions, and membership pricing at any time by uploading revised terms and conditions to its website Any amendments will be effective from the date they are uploaded to the website.

Please read the following Terms & Conditions carefully. If you have any queries at all, please get in touch with us on 0800 BOATIE (262 843) and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.


In these Terms & Conditions:

“Coastguard” means the Royal New Zealand Coastguard Incorporated and any affiliated entity.

“Member” means the individual financial Member who maintains an active paid-up subscription with Coastguard. A person is not a Coastguard Member solely by purchasing Coastguard lottery tickets, making a single or recurring donation to Coastguard or one of its entities, or by any other means other than those defined in the Membership Terms & Conditions.

“Associate Member” or “Partner” is eligible to be covered under the membership if living at the same address as their spouse or partner who is a financial member.

“Dependent” means a legally related individual up to the age of 18 years living at the same address as their parent or guardian who is an active member.

“Membership Year” means the 12-month period from the membership due date covered by the member’s subscription.

“Subscription” means the annual payment required to remain an ‘active’ member of Coastguard

“Membership card” means the card issued by Coastguard to the Member, valid for the duration of active Membership.

“Vessel” means a seaworthy vessel that, in the opinion of a Coastguard Rescue Vessel Master, does not present an excessive risk to Coastguard assets or personnel and is therefore safe to assist.

“Rescue Vessel” means a Coastguard rescue asset or other resource that Coastguard deems fit to assist you.

“Vessel of Opportunity” means a non-Coastguard asset that has been requested and agreed to provide assistance to a Coastguard member or member of the public.

“Free Assists” refers to free assistance for non-urgent situations covered under the membership in line with the Membership Terms & Conditions.

“12 Mile Limit” means the outer boundary of the Territorial Sea as defined under the Territorial Sea, Contiguous Zone, and Exclusive Economic Zone Act 1977.

“Non-urgent Assistance” means any incident to which Coastguard is asked to respond where the persons or vessel requiring assistance are not in a distress or urgency situation and failure to provide immediate assistance in the shortest timeframe possible is not likely to have a significant negative impact on the persons’ wellbeing or worsen their chances of survival.

All dollar values referred to are inclusive of GST.

General Information

Membership entitlements do not cover pre-existing incidents or breakdowns that occurred prior to the Member joining Coastguard.

Coastguard reserves the right to deny services to any Member who in Coastguard’s opinion is or has been abusive, threatening or violent towards any Coastguard personnel, or who attempts to or has attempted to receive service by deception.

Coastguard reserves the right to deny Membership cover where assistance cannot be safely rendered for a specific vessel, e.g. where a vessel is too large to be towed by our standard rescue vessels. Coastguard also reserves the right to deny membership cover or non-urgent assistance to any person or vessel that has been assisted repeatedly for non-urgent call-outs where the issue has not been rectified, e.g. additional training and education for the person or improvement to the condition of the vessel. Fair use policy applies to non-urgent assistance.

Membership is considered active 24 hours after the payment has been received into Coastguard’s account. If assistance is required within this 24-hour ‘stand-down period’ Coastguard’s standard non-member call-out fees will apply.

Membership is only active upon full receipt of payment. No partial payments are accepted.

Coastguard communicates with members predominantly via email and post. All memberships must be registered against a New Zealand postal address, and have an valid email address. It is the member’s responsibility to keep these contact details stored against their membership up-to-date to enable effective membership and incident communications.

If you elect for recurring membership payments, you must supply a valid email address for us to communicate with you when your membership is due for renewal. If your email address becomes invalid or you choose to remove it from our database, any future recurring membership payment will be automatically cancelled. See our Privacy Policy at for info on how your details are stored. Coastguard reserves the right to request photo ID at any stage to confirm the identity of a member.

Membership Product Types

Individual Membership

Individual Membership covers an individual financial member of the organisation, their spouse/partner and any dependents up to the age of 18 living at the same address as the financial member. This membership is assigned to a person, rather than a vessel, and therefore is valid on any vessel on which the member chooses to do their boating. Individual Membership is non-refundable, nontransferable and personal to the member. Commercial vessels are not covered by an Individual Membership, and Coastguard reserves the right to charge a callout fee to corporate vessels if they are found to hold an Individual Membership only and are operating as a corporate vessel at the time assistance is requested.

Life Membership

Life Membership covers an individual financial member of the organisation, their spouse/partner and any dependents up to the age of 18 living at the same address as the financial member. Lifetime Membership is non-refundable but may be transferred to the partner of the Lifetime Member in the event of the death of the Lifetime Member.

Vessel Membership

Vessel Membership covers a vessel that is detailed against the membership and any person on that vessel at the time of the incident. Commercial vessels such as fishing charters, ferries or fishing boats are only covered by a vessel membership. Coastguard reserves the right to charge a callout fee to commercial vessels if they are found to hold an Individual Membership only and are operating as a commercial vessel at the time assistance is requested. Vessel Membership is non-refundable, relates to the vessel not the person, and is only transferable to another vessel owned by the member.

Club Membership

Club Membership is available to any Organisation operating as an incorporated society or voluntary organisation, which may require on-water assistance for powered or nonpowered vessels operated as part of the organisation’s normal activities. Eligible organisations are defined as those who operate on a not-for-profit basis or do not engage in commercial activities, and primarily exist to promote training, education or recreational activities to further maritime pursuits in New Zealand. Approval of an Organisation to receive Club Membership is at the discretion of the Coastguard Membership team, proof that an organisation meets the requirements for Club Membership may be requested before Membership is granted. Club Membership is non-refundable, must include a Primary Contact, and assistance applies only to vessels owned by the organisation and listed against the Membership in the Coastguard database. Membership discounts on education courses are not available to Club Members.

Original or Legacy Membership

Original or Legacy Membership* means the Member was originally associated with a Coastguard unit/entity that is now part of the Coastguard Membership Programme. A "Unit Original Member" or "Legacy Original Member" maintains their entitlements to the Unit in addition to those benefits under the Coastguard Membership Programme. The membership fee is set by the Unit at their Annual General Meeting. A Unit Original or Legacy Membership is only valid through recurring payment of the membership type. Once the membership expires, should they wish to rejoin, they may only do so as an Individual member of the Coastguard Membership Programme at the standard cost. Original or Legacy Membership is non-refundable, non-transferable and personal to the member.

*Product type only available to those members on existing membership programmes.

Membership status

Payment is allocated to the due date of the membership, not the date on which the membership is paid.

“Active” means the membership is current and is entitled to full service and benefits.

“Pending Renewal” means the membership is due for payment. The membership is still considered active in the ‘pending renewal’ state.

Pending Renewal Membership Status applies 30 days prior and 30 days post membership-due date.

“End of Service” means the membership is overdue for payment and no longer active. As such, no service or associated benefits are provided until payment is received. End of Service Membership Status applies between 30 days – 60 days post membership-due date when no payment is received.

“Expired” means the membership is deactivated. Should the member wish to renew, they may do so under a new membership number and continuous membership does not apply.

Expired Membership Status applies from 60 days post membership-due date when no payment is received.

Membership Service & Benefits

Free Assists

In the situation where non-urgent assistance is required contact must be made with Coastguard Radio via Marine VHF Radio or *500 from your mobile.

A Member is entitled to request non-urgent assistance without further charge, provided that;

- The membership is active.

- The Member is with the vessel at the time of breakdown and assistance, and is able to provide personal identification if requested (except for Vessel membership).

- The vessel is at sea or on an inland water way.

- The vessel is within 30 nautical miles of a Coastguard Rescue Vessel base.

- The vessel is within the 12 nautical mile limit.

- The vessel is not anchored, secured or otherwise safe at a point of safety at which necessary repair work can be undertaken.

- The vessel is not abandoned or deemed to require salvage.

- The length of the assistance is of a distance no more than 30 miles.

Response Time

While every endeavour is made to respond to a non-urgent situation as quickly as possible, Coastguard’s response is supported by volunteers, therefore, response times may vary. Coastguard adopts a best-endeavours response for non-urgent situations. Priority is given to urgent assistance where life is in danger. An estimated response time will be communicated to the member at the time of assistance.

Coastguard Assist Coverage

Coastguard seeks to provide coverage across all of New Zealand’s popular recreational boating areas. Please refer to Coastguard’s Unit Location Map on the website to gain an understanding of Coastguard’s coverage. Coastguard Rescue Vessels and Crews are not authorised to operate outside of their Maritime New Zealand operating limits. In such an event, Coastguard will seek to assist a member by coordinating a Vessel of Opportunity to assist. Coastguard Rescue Vessels may attend an incident beyond their Maritime New Zealand operating limits by exception only. Where assistance is required for a vessel in excess of 30 miles from a Coastguard unit or for a recovery in excess of 30 miles, discussion will be held with the member regarding cost recovery options.

West Coast coverage update: Our West Coast Unit is currently unable to provide on-water assistance in the Greymouth area until they have a new skipper for their rescue vessel.


The manner in which Coastguard provides non-urgent assistance is at the discretion of Coastguard and priority will be given to the safety of human life. However Coastguard aims to assist a member by a means that enables the member to subsequently address the cause of the vessel’s problem in a practicable manner. Coastguard accepts no liability for any damage to a Member’s vessel or its contents in the course of assistance.

Refuelling trial: October 2022 - July 2024

In order to reduce the number of long tows undertaken for vessels that have run out of fuel, Coastguard is undertaking a trial with a select number of Units from across the Country whereby vessels who have run out of fuel may be provided with fuel for a fee. This refuelling fee will be charged to both members and non-members, the refuelling charge is not covered within the standard Membership free assistance. It is at the discretion of the assisting Unit as to whether a vessel is offered a tow or is required to take the refuelling option, dependent on the length of tow required and other assistance required to be rendered.

Member Discounts and Offers

As a Member of the Coastguard National Membership programme, you are entitled to discounts and promotions not otherwise available to non-members. For full details of these benefits, visit our website at

These benefits are exclusive to members holding a National Individual, Vessel or Life membership. Membership discounts on Coastguard Boating Education courses are not available to Club Members. Members of local Coastguard unit membership programmes are not eligible for these benefits.

Coastguard Boating Education - Course Discounts

A Coastguard Boating Education Day Skipper course discount for new members is valid for use by any individual covered by the membership and, as such, is non-transferable. The discount can only be used once and is valid for 12 months from the date of the first active membership payment and covers both distance learning and classroom-based courses nationwide.

A Coastguard Boating Education course discount for existing, active members is valid for use by any individual covered by the membership and, as such, is non-transferable. The existing member discount cannot be used in conjunction with the new member discount. It can be used at any time from the date of the first active membership payment. Available for both distance learning and classroom-based options nationwide, on selected education courses as outlined at Membership discounts on Coastguard Boating Education courses are not available to Club Members.

Promotions & Gift Vouchers

From time to time Coastguard runs membership promotions online or in partner stores.

Tower Promo Code terms and conditions:

  • Discount is only valid for New or Existing Tower Boat Policy holders. 
  • Discount will be applied to full price Individual memberships only. 
  • Discount code cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount code or promotion. 
  • To redeem offer, the Tower Boat policy holder and existing Coastguard member must have received a promo code directly from Tower and called the Coastguard Membership Team on 0800 BOATIE (262 843) to extend their existing membership.
  • Coastguard reserves the right to cancel any membership where a discount code was obtained fraudulently. 

Gift vouchers are valid for the period stated on the voucher and in accordance with specific terms and conditions associated with the offer.

Partner Offers

Access to offers through Coastguard’s partners are only valid for current ‘active’ members, unless otherwise stated. 

Privacy Policy

This policy explains how we may collect information about you and use it in order to satisfy your particular requirements. It outlines some of the security measures that we take in order to protect your privacy and gives certain assurances on things that we will not do. The full version of the Privacy Policy can be viewed at

Contact us

If you have questions about our Terms and Conditions, please email [email protected], call 0800 BOATIE (262 843) or write to:

Coastguard New Zealand
PO Box 2195
Shortland Street
Auckland 1140

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