Police in Palmerston North are searching for an elderly woman who has not been seen or heard from since this afternoon.

Arlene Houldsworth, 79, left a property on Fitzherbert Avenue about 3pm to go to a nearby shop, police said tonight.

"She is not familiar with the area and her family are very concerned for her safety.

"There are serious concerns for Ms Holdsworth's health and well-being and anyone who sees her, or has seen her this afternoon, is asked to call 111 immediately.''

Advertisement

Police said there was a photograph of the elderly woman was not readily available.

However, she is described as about 155cm tall and of small build.

She has grey/ black hair which she wears swept back and over the sides.

She was last seen wearing grey pants, a long-sleeved blue woolen top and white bowling-style shoes.

Police said she may also be carrying a handbag and she speaks with a slight British accent.

Anyone who sees her is asked to call 111 immediately.