Police investigating the disappearance of Michelle Hoffman-Tamm have found a body, but have not confirmed if it is the missing woman.
The body was found about 2.30pm today in an forested area close to SH38, about 10km from Murupara.
A police spokeswoman said it was too early to speculate on the identity of the person, as a post-mortem examination and formal identification were yet to take place
But police did confirm that it was information connected to Hoffman-Tamm's disappearance that led to the search of the patch of forest.
Police told Mrs Hoffman-Tamm's family that a body had been found in the area, but also not to jump to conclusions on its identity.
A 44-year old woman appeared in Rotorua District Court today charged with assaulting Ms Hoffman-Tamm, who went missing 16 days ago.
The Rotorua woman, who was granted interim name suppression, did not enter a plea when she appeared before a community magistrate and was remanded in custody to reappear in court on December 3.
Police have said further charges were likely.
Ms Hoffman-Tamm, 51, disappeared after leaving her home on her red mountainbike to visit a friend on November 7.
Police said last night they were examining a rural spot close to State Highway 38 between Rotorua and Murupara and a house in Rotorua.
Police want to hear from anyone who was in the area of Holland Street between 6pm on Wednesday 7, November and Sunday, 11 November and in Victoria Street between Sunday 11, November and Monday 12 November.
Police are particularly interested in the movements of a two-tone light-coloured Subaru Legacy stationwagon between the 7th and the 12th travelling around Rotorua or between Rotorua, Whakatane and Murupara.
Ms Hoffman-Tamm's bike was found yesterday at a different location in a Rotorua suburb.
On Wednesday her sister Jan Donlan made an emotional plea for her "generous'' and "good-hearted'' sister to come home.
She said the disappearance was completely out of character.
Ms Donlan said the family, including her sister's two adult children and three grandchildren, were extremely worried.
For more articles from this region, go to BAY OF PLENTY TIMES