Story: Search and rescue

Police search for Wendy Mayes, 1961

Police search for Wendy Mayes, 1961

In the past, police conducted some searches without volunteer help. These were known as Class I searches. One example was the hunt for 16-year-old Wendy Mayes, who went missing in Wellington in September 1961. She had answered an advertisement by John Maltby for a photographer’s model, and did not return from an interview with him. Maltby was questioned by police, and later his body was found washed up on the beach at Island Bay. Wendy Mayes was never found, despite a concentrated search by police. Now police-only searches have been replaced by Class II searches, which involve both police and volunteers.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP-Accidents-Missingpersons-1950s to 1979-01

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Search and rescue - New Zealand search and rescue organisations', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 11 August 2022)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 24 Sep 2007