The family of missing North Shore woman Pat Wearn have released a statement following the police decision to suspend the search for the 73-year-old.

Wearn went missing a week ago in Torbay and police said today that there was little chance she would be found alive.

Her family released a statement though police this afternoon.

"Seven days ago, like the rest of you, we were getting on with life as normal," the family said.

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"Over the last seven days we have had to cope with a dramatic interruption to those routines and the consequent wide range of emotions."

They said they supported the police decision to suspend the active search and would continue to work with officers as the investigation into Wearn's disappearance continued.

They praised police and Land Search and Rescue personnel for their efforts.

"We have interacted with so many thoughtful, helpful, caring professionals and volunteers," the family said in their statement.

"To the wonderful North Shore community, we say THANK YOU once again."

Wearn's family said they were tired and found it hard to comment further "becauses there is no resolution".

They wanted New Zealand to remember Wearn and hoped that the community could help them find the answers they needed.

"Please keep Pat's name and face in the public arena, but do not cause a nuisance or offence.

"It has been a positive thing for us to see Pat's face around the community.

"The area surrounding Pat's home has been extensively searched, but we need to ensure that the wider North Shore community checks their properties and gardens, talks to their neighbours, and reports any sightings or evidence to the police."

The family said there was no evidence that Wearn had left the North Shore area.

"This is still the highest priority," they said.

"If you are continuing to search, it is with sadness that you will understand that we are most likely in a recovery, not a rescue phase.

"Please do not search with your children. Please look after your own health and safety. Please look after your own families"

As a result of the search shifting to a body recovery situation the Wearn family would not participate further in looking for the pensioner.

"We have family in the UK and this has been a particularly difficult time for them," they said.

"We have been hugely encouraged by the community response and see this as a very positive effect of a tragic situation. Keep talking to and supporting one another."

They finished the statement by saying that Wearn and her husband "and many of our family and friends" hold a Christian faith.

"We believe in prayer as partnership and the sustaining love of God," they said.

"We have felt this love, even in a dark time. Our church community has the tag line, 'life and faith together'; we are experiencing that.

"Thank you."

If you have information about Pat Wearn's disappearance contact the police on 111 or 09 477 5000.