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Police searching for two child runaways missing since Sunday night say they have fears for the girls' safety because of bad weather conditions.

The girls, 8-year-old Tahani Grewal and 12-year-old Korutaiheke Robin Tai, known as Koru, left their home in Esmeralda St in the Tauranga suburb of Welcome Bay on Sunday night.

They were last seen about 7pm when they went to a house in nearby Kaitemako Rd where they asked the occupant if they could stay. They left the address soon after.

Neither girl turned up for school yesterday. Police said their inquiries suggested the pair could be heading for Auckland or the Eastern Bay of Plenty, where they had extended family.

Senior Sergeant Dave Archibald said conditions had been very cold and wet since the girls went missing.

He said police were identifying friends of the girls, speaking to family and conducting door-to-door inquiries.

Koru is Maori, about 140cm in height, with brown eyes, brown hair and is of solid build. She was wearing dark blue jeans, a black T-shirt, black basketball shoes - one of which had a white shoelace - a greenstone necklace and a plastic bracelet.

She is described as looking older than her 12 years, possibly passing for someone in their late teens.

Tahani is of Maori and Pakistani descent. She is about 1m in height with brown eyes, brown hair and of a thin build. She was wearing blue track pants, a pink long-sleeved top and a blue jacket with a fluffy hood.

Tauranga police were also trying to find a woman who had taken her 3-year-old son.

A protection order was being sought by Kaden Jordan Nikora-Blythe's father when the boy's mother, Ashlee Nikora, allegedly took him from her father's house in Tauranga more than a week ago.

Sergeant Wayne Lambert said the order was now in place and police had a warrant to take the child.

Ms Nikora was thought to be in the Whitianga area.