Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

Missing Auckland teen Faith Nevalagi found safe and well

Police are appealing for any sightings of missing 16-year-old Faith Nevalagi. Photo / Supplied via police
Police are appealing for any sightings of missing 16-year-old Faith Nevalagi. Photo / Supplied via police

The Auckland teen who disappeared for two days has been safe and well.

Police said this afternoon Faith Nevalagi is now home with her family, as they thanked the media and public for their help.

Earlier, her distraught parents were appealing for help to find the missing 14-year-old, who was last seen about midnight on Saturday.

The Year 10 student at Edgewater College told her parents, Andrea and Daniel Nevalagi, she was going to a movie with a friend on Saturday evening.

However, it is thought she instead went to see a boy at nearby Burger King and later went to a party in Onehunga.

The family continued to search for Faith in and around the Onehunga area today.

Before she was found, Mr Nevalagi stressed that Faith's disappearance was out of character and this sort of thing had never happened before.

"I just can't think. We're in Onehunga, just having a look at the parks and areas ... to see if she's there or anything."

He had said he and his wife were distraught and doing all they could to get their daughter, the eldest of four siblings, back home safely.

"She told us she was going to the movies with one of her friends ... [who] we know. We dropped her off at Sylvia Park and she didn't meet up with that friend.

"She met up with a boy - who we don't know - at Burger King and they were going to a party in Onehunga."

Mr Nevalagi said police tracked the boy down and visited his home on Sunday.
It is understood a friend of the family's confirmed seeing the boy at the party, but did not know whether Faith left the party with him.

"They talked to the boy's mother and the mother said he came home at 10pm. But he would've been the last one to see Faith," Mr Nevalagi said.

Faith's mother, Andrea Nevalagi, told the Herald she visited the Onehunga property - an old factory type building, she said - where the party was held.

"This place is actually holding parties there and posting them on Facebook. Young kids are going to these parties and paying a door charge of $10 and they're selling alcohol - and I don't know what else they're doing," she said.

"I actually went to this place last night and it was just dreadful. They've got rooms with double-beds in them and I don't know what they do. There's a big hall where they must have all the alcohol and there's speakers set up like a dance hall.

"It's like a factory house ... with all these rooms and a kitchen and a toilet."

A neighbour near the Onehunga property where the party was held said the property was not used during the day.

"The landlord told us there was a builder there but there was no business going on during the day," said the neighbour, who did not wish to be named.

"But in the night, God knows what happens."

She has seen several parties at the address.

Police confirmed that after being dropped at Sylvia Park, Faith later visited a house in Onehunga but had not been seen or heard from since, until this afternoon.

- NZ Herald

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