Part of a food wrapper belonging to missing tramper Ronnie Fong has been found in the Hunua Ranges.
Mr Fong has spent his third night in the ranges after he was separated from his group on Saturday. He was last in contact with friends at 3.30pm that day when he sent a text message saying he had been delayed.
Police this morning said searchers had found the partial food wrapper "which they can directly link to the missing person''.
The discovery was made late yesterday near the Mangatangi Stream.
Police could not comment further as to how they linked it to Mr Fong, who was wearing a lightweight black jacket and three-quarter length shorts on Saturday.
Search and Rescue coordinator Sergeant Dene Duthie says "fortunate'' weather today will allow for further aerial searches while up to 60 personnel will continue on the ground.
Airforce helicopters have previously used night-vision equipment to search for Mr Fong.
Police want to speak with anyone who was in the Hunuas on Saturday, especially in the Mangatawhiri and Waharau areas.
Mr Fong, formerly known as Ronnie Kumar, is described as being of Asian or Polynesian appearance with a stocky build.
Anyone with information should call the Northern Communications Centre on 09 571 2800.