Restoring Family Links

One of the oldest services in the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, this service helps families in New Zealand locate news of missing loved ones.

This service helps families in New Zealand locate news of missing loved ones overseas where the separation was caused by war, armed conflict,disaster or migration.

We cannot assist in searches for genealogical reasons, cases of adoption to locate birth parents, or for the purposes of litigation. We are also not able to assist in situations where separation was caused by a relationship breakdown.

You must be residing in New Zealand to lodge a tracing case with New Zealand Red Cross.

Christchurch attack

The Red Cross Restoring Family Links service was used by the NZ Police during the response to the Christchurch terror attack on 15 March 2019. A special web page on the International Red Cross' online platform was set up so people could register a loved one as missing or people could register themselves as safe.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has advised that families wishing to travel to New Zealand as a result of the Christchurch terror attack will need to apply for emergency visas. More information is available via this link:

International tracing

This free service helps family members find each other if they have been separated by conflict, disaster or migration. It is where internationals or locals can self-register that they are alive so family and friends know they are safe or to report someone as missing in these circumstances.

If you wish to contact our Restoring Family Links service in circumstances other than the Christchurch incident, lodge a request by clicking on the button below.

Lodge a request

Red Cross Messages

We help family members to communicate through Red Cross Messages when usual means of communication are not available.   Family members must have been separated by armed conflict, disaster or migration; or in some other cases of humanitarian need.  Messages may only contain personal family news and are subject to censorship. Photos may be attached, however no money may be attached.

Send a message

Health and Welfare reports

We can assist people whose contact with family members overseas has stopped unexpectedly, to check on their health and wellbeing.  We can do this when there are no other family members available to help.

Request a Health and Welfare report

Attestation of Detention Certificates

Attestation of Detention Certificates confirm that a person is being or has been detained. We can only provide these if the person was visited and registered by the ICRC while in detention. Certificates are only issued at the request of the person concerned or, if deceased, the next of kin.

Request an Attestation of Detention Certificate

International Committee of Red Cross travel documents

We can help people get ICRC travel documents if they have been formally offered entry by the New Zealand government.  We can assist refugees, displaced or stateless people who do not have documentation to travel to New Zealand, if they have an official request from Immigration New Zealand. We cannot help with immigration applications, advocate on behalf of family reunification applicants or contribute to travel costs. 

Enquire about ICRC travel documents