The woman at the centre of a search and rescue mission in the Kaimai Range has been found alive and well.
About 30 friends and family of Ola Shahin, 24, gathered in the Kaimais to try to find her after the Mount Maunganui woman was reported missing at 7am yesterday.
Police said Shahin was found in the bush, south of Katikati about 3pm. They thanked everyone who helped in the search and in particular, member of the public who provided helpful information.
Last night Land Search and Rescue teams and volunteers searched the Lindemann Rd area near Katikati. This afternoon, firefighters used a drone with thermal imaging technology to try to find Shahin.
A steady stream of family and friends, arrived to help with the extensive search.
A woman, who would not be named, said she and a couple friends came down from Auckland to help after learning about Shahin's disappearance last night via media reports.
The woman said she and Shahin had grown-up together in Auckland, and her own brother and Shahin's brother were good friends.
Shahin, who the friend described as a "really lovely, happy person, intelligent and very easy going", had been living in Tauranga for just over a year.
She has been undertaking an engineering internship and was one of six children, the woman said.
"The last time I spoke to Ola was about two weeks ago at a concert in Auckland and when I heard she was missing I was shocked. I thought 'oh my God' I hope she is okay."
Shahin's brother, who also arrived at the scene this morning, declined to comment.
Shahin's vehicle, which was located in Lindemann Rd this morning, has been removed from the scene.
Meanwhile, a high school friend of Shahin's, Shehryar Jawed, told the Bay of Plenty Times he was in shock to know his old friend had gone missing.
"I cannot imagine what her family and close loved ones must be going through right now. We all should stay strong together, do what we can to spread awareness and pray for a positive outcome," he said.
"This is a great concern for us all."
Jawed said he went to Avondale College in Auckland with Shahin but had not been in touch with her recently.