Police have called off a search for a man who was believed to be caught in water near Hunua Falls in South Auckland late last night.

Police were called to the falls at 11.19pm, a police spokesman said.

The spokesman said a man seemed to be floating down the river but was using his phone to stay in contact with St John Ambulance services.

However the phone had cut out just past midnight, which was hampering rescue attempts.

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"He was talking to us but he's probably been in the water a while so he'll be getting a bit cold," the spokesman said.

This morning police said they were now confident that the man was no longer in the water.

"Police are making land-based inquiries to confirm the man's whereabouts," a spokesman said.

"There is no active water search."

A St John spokesman said St John received a call at 11.16pm from another person saying that someone was "holding on to a log and floating down the river".

"According to the person we spoke to, they had received texts and calls from the person," the spokesman said.

"We sent two Jeeps but the person was not located, so it has been handed over to police."

He added: "There might have been doubts cast on it all."