Kariaotahi is a member club of Surf Life Saving Northern Region, a volunteer organisation that provides surf rescue patrols at Kariaotahi Surf Beach.

Our mission is to prevent loss of life and ensure safety in and around the aquatic environment by providing lifeguard services and education. Kariaotahi provides an essential community service and is regarded by the public as an Icon of New Zealand, The Surf Life Saving Association.

Founded in 1971, our volunteer lifeguard patrols have become entrenched in the fabric of New Zealand Culture. Our 35 years of service has never seen loss of life in a patrolled area, a record we are justifiably proud of.

The level of professionalism and commitment from our lifeguards has seen a natural progression to becoming well respected as a community based emergency rescue service. As a club we have worked hard to lift the profile of the club in the community, as well as delivering the professionalism required from a surf life saving organisation.

Kariaotahi worked hard over the last 7 years to achieve the ultimate of being Number 1 in the Surf Life Saving Northern Region’s family of 17 clubs. By the end of season 2001/2002 the hard work paid off for its members, and Kariaotahi was voted not only Best Patrolled Beach in their ability to provide a lifeguard service, but were also voted Top Club Surf Life Saving Northern Region for 2001/2002 season. Since then Kariaotahi has been voted Best Patrolled Beach for season 2002/2003, 2004/2005 and joint winners in the 2005/2006 season.

Also in season 2004/2005 Kariaotahi Lifeguards one three of Surf Life Saving Northern Region's top awards, Surf Lifeguard of the Year; Volunteer of the Year and Contribution to Powercraft Operations.

This is a standard and reputation that Kariaotahi are justifiably proud of.

Last summer our volunteer lifeguards spent 5,538.5 hours of their time Kariaotahi beach, carried out over 2,110 preventative actions involving 5,410 people, preformed 27 first aids, searched for 7 people and preformed 28 rescues.

Consequently as a non-profit organisation Kariaotahi continues to depend on the goodwill of the community, commercial sponsors and special events to maintain the level of service and programmes the public has come to expect. Kariaotahi provides volunteer surf rescue services on weekends and public holidays from Labour Weekend through to the end of the Easter school holidays, and hosts the Regional Lifeguard Service for the weekdays from 15 December 2004 through to 24 January 2005.

In the winter of 2006 Kariaotahi Surf Life Saving Patrol Inc adopted a new constitution to bring itself inline with  the new Surf Life Saving New Zealand constitution and has now become Surf Life Saving Kariaotahi.