My father has a WanderSearch device. What information about him does your organisation keep on file?

WanderSearch Auckland keeps only relevant information which may help in searching for him i.e. his physical appearance; his age; his level of mobility; any favourite place he might try to go to; other medical conditions; previous wandering history. This information is collected at the time of issuing the tracking device. This information is kept on the Police database which can be accessed 24/7 by Police staff when required.

Who has access to the private details of my aunt who has to wear a WanderSearch pendant?

Only the WanderSearch Co-ordinator and Police Search and Rescue have the complete database about all WanderSearch clients. The search team is only given information about an individual at the time when that person is reported missing.

Is my child, who wears a WanderSearch pendant, monitored 24/7?

No. The only time that the tracking devices are tracked is when your child wanders and gets lost. You call the 111 number, ask for Police and give details of your child and the circumstances of them wandering to the Police Communication staff. Also inform them that they have a WanderSearch tracking pendant. The Police will look up the details on their computer system: the tracking process only begins at this point.

Can the devices be turned on and off?

The WanderSearch devices remain constantly on once they have been issued. The battery life is 8 months so there is no need to try to conserve the battery. As the devices are turned on and off with a magnet, it is advisable to keep them away from magnetic fields such as bio-mag beds so that they don’t accidentally turn off.

What are the costs for us as a family to have Dad fitted with a WanderSearch device?

WanderSearch Auckland is a Charitable Trust and relies on donations and fund-raising to operate in the Auckland community.

Each device has a capital cost (currently $350.00 each) and the battery replacements also cost the Charity (currently $50.00). Therefore, any and all donations towards the placement and maintenance of the devices are most gratefully received.

Who goes looking for my mother when she goes missing?

The Police has your mother’s details on their computer system. They will contact Police Search and Rescue who will send out the closest search member with the tracking equipment to find her. Only the police and Auckland Land Search and Rescue Volunteers will look for your mother.

How long does it take to find a missing person wearing a WanderSearch device?

While we cannot give a specified time frame, the tracking system has proved very effective.  The average search for those wearing WanderSearch devices is around 60 – 90 minutes which includes travel time to the location however depending on circumstances can take longer to find.

What happens if my dad is not wearing his WanderSearch watch when he wanders away?

The Police will look for him using their normal practices and, if necessary, they will call upon the experience and skills of the Police Search and Rescue team and Auckland Land Search and Rescue Volunteers.

Does the care facility where my mother lives, have to recharge her pendant battery for her?

No. The battery life is 8 months. However, after 6 months (well within the lifespan of the device) a WanderSearch representative will visit your mother’s home and replace the pendant with another one. Her used one will be sent for recalibration, a new battery, and cleaning before coming back into the pool of usable devices.

For your mother, the swap over takes only a couple of minutes and WanderSearch endeavours to make the transfer low-key and with minimal disruption. Your mother is not required to remember any details or provide any information.

My autistic son has had his wristwatch for 3 years and he is now a teenager. How much longer can he keep his device?

For as long as he requires it – until he stops wandering. Wearing a ‘wrist device’ is intended to allow your son to maintain maximum independence while ensuring he can be found quickly if missing.

Some clients stay with WanderSearch for years; for others a few months may be sufficient to keep them safe.

My grandfather has been moved to a secure unit and is no longer in danger of wandering. What should the rest home do with his pendant?

Simply contact us and we will arrange to collect the device. Your grandfather’s information will then be removed from both the Police and WanderSearch Auckland’s database.

I know some-one who has a Pacemaker. Would he be able to have a WanderSearch pendant?


Ideally the device should be kept 15cm from the site of the pacemaker so the WanderSearch ‘wrist device’ would be safe. Alternatively, attaching the device to the waistband of clothing or a similar adaptation would also be sufficient.

Can my mother travel with her pendant? By plane? Overseas?

Firstly: the WanderSearch tracking system operates only in New Zealand so would be of no reassurance overseas.

WanderSearch Auckland operates, in conjunction with the Police only in the greater Auckland region. To find out what other areas utilise the WandaTrak equipment see About WanderSearch.  Alternatively contact the WanderSearch Co-ordinator who will be able to advise where the program is being managed in NZ.

It is advisable that you do not fly with the device turned on as the tracking device emits an electronic signal, which could interfere with the aircraft’s electronics. Contact the WanderSearch Co-ordinator to discuss options for taking the tracking device with you in New Zealand.

Does WanderSearch Auckland only issue devices to the elderly?

No. WanderSearch Auckland will issue a device to a person of any age with a cognitive impairment, who wanders or who is likely to wander.   Therefore, children from toddler age are eligible to wear a WanderSearch device.

Please note: the WanderSearch device is a tool only to assist in finding the cognitively impaired wanderer faster: vigilance and close monitoring by care-givers remain vital to the safety and care of the device wearer.

Can I buy a device for my grandson who is a “Houdini” and vanishes in the blink of an eye? He has no brain injuries.

No, sorry, for two reasons:

1) WanderSearch Auckland is a charity set up for the express purpose of assisting those with cognitive impairments.

2) WanderSearch Auckland Charitable Trust remains the owners of all devices, not the clients nor their families. We do not sell the devices.

My dog is expert as escaping from our yard. Could I get a WanderSearch device for him? I am willing to pay for it.

No, sorry; WanderSearch Auckland only serves the cognitively impaired (human) clientele of the Auckland region.

09 448 4448