A team of 20 will continue their search for a woman missing in the Lake Coleridge area of Canterbury, as temperatures drop below zero.

Police began searching for Elise Davenport earlier today, and a spokesman said a group of 20 search and rescue volunteers would continue the looking for her into the night.

Ms Davenport wandered off following an argument with a friend on the side of the road, police said.

There are concerns for Ms Davenport's well-being, as she has only recently arrived from England, has no knowledge of the local area and will be facing particular challenges with the temperature in the area expected to get colder overnight.

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She is described as about six foot two inches tall, with white-blond hair, and is reported to be wearing a black top, red shoes, and black track pants - possibly with a pink stripe.

Police would like to hear from anyone who has seen a woman fitting her description in the Lake Coleridge area in the last few hours, or from any family members or friends Ms Davenport has made contact with today.

Call Christchurch Central Police on 03 363 7400 if you have any relevant information.