Police are concerned for the safety of a young man who, with two others, escaped from a youth justice residence near Rotorua.

The three youths fled Te Maioha o Parekarangi last night. Two were caught today, and one is still on the run.

District command centre Senior Sergeant Karl Konlechner said police were called at 7.09pm.

"We found and arrested two of them today in Whanganui. We are still looking for the other one."

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Konlechner said he believed a guard had suffered minor injuries during the escape.

Child, Youth and Family youth justice Phil Dinham urged anyone who knew where the young man was to call police.

"We are concerned for the welfare for the third young man, particularly given the weather conditions.

"Anyone who knows where he is should contact police. We would also urge the third young man to contact police or Child, Youth and Family directly.

Dinham said Child, Youth and Family was also investigating the boys' escape.

He did not answer Rotorua Daily Post questions about an alleged assault on the guard.

Anyone with information should call Rotorua police on (07) 348 0099 or CrimeStoppers on (0800) 555 111.