An emergency telephone has been installed at Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula.
It is the first to be installed at a beach in New Zealand.
Nick Mulcahy of Surf Life Saving New Zealand says there have been several incidents at Hot Water Beach when lifeguards are off duty.
He hopes the phone will be used mostly by residents.
"If they see a member of the public in trouble, they can use it to talk directly with our personnel and get lifeguards down there as soon as possible."
If the phone is a success others could be installed at beaches nationwide.