Police say they are "very concerned" for a barefoot 11-year-old boy missing from Thames since yesterday.

Tematau Wilson lives in Te Aroha but was with family in Thames when he walked off, Waikato police said in a media statement this morning.

He was last seen at 4pm near the BP service station at the southern end of Thames.

"He may have attempted to walk in the direction of Kopu after making remarks to his family that he intended to walk to his nanna in Waharoa. Police have been searching throughout Thames overnight without success."

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Thames residents and anyone who lives between the town and Matamata are being asked to keep an eye out for the boy and ring police urgently if they see him.

Tematau has brown hair and eyes and was wearing a lightweight long sleeved hoodie and red and black shorts. He was not wearing shoes when he was last seen.