Two people who fled from police in a stolen car are believed to be hiding out in Central Plateau bush.
Police said in a statement that officers attempted to stop a car on the central North Island's Desert Rd in the Mt Tongariro area about 3pm.
The driver failed to stop and fled down the heavily-forested, dead-end Tree Trunk Gorge Rd, which traverses the Tongariro River, where the car was "dumped".
"The driver and passenger, possible a man and woman, ran through nearby bush," the statement said. "Police believe both of them are still in the area."
Police said any sightings of hitchhikers or pedestrians on the Desert Rd this evening, between Rangipo and Waioura, should be reported to 111 immediately.