The unsung heroes of winter are the search-and-rescue dogs which stand ready to find and dig for people caught in snow-slides and avalanches.
Aspiring Avalanche Dogs are based at Treble Cone skifield near Wanaka in the South Island's southern lakes district. Their wrangler, Matt Gunn, has prepared his border collies Blizzard and Rocket in the art of avalanche rescue.
He is building a team of four ready to scramble if avalanche strikes this winter. Here's how the dogs are prepared.