A search has been suspended for a Korean man feared missing on the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk in Te Urewera National Park after reports he has already left the area.

Earlier Wairoa police and search and rescue said they were looking for the 59-year-old man who was last seen at the Panekire Hut on Tuesday.

He was expected at Onepoto by 1pm for a scheduled pick-up. The alarm was raised when he did not turn up.

Now police believe the man has walked out, returned to Wairoa to collect his belongings and has made his way to Napier.

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Police attention was now focused on Napier and the field search had been suspended, a police spokeswoman said.

However, police were still keen to hear from anyone who had seen the man to confirm his whereabouts and make sure he is okay.

He is 59 years old and of medium build wearing a blue merino top and light brown pants.

People are asked to call the Wairoa Police Station on (06) 838 8345.