A wanted man known for fleeing police has reportedly been seen riding a quad bike on a rural Northland road.

Police were quick to converge on Maromaku and Towai roads shortly before 9am yesterday.

A Whangarei police dog handler travelled to the property where the man was last seen, while officers from Hikurangi, Kawakawa, Kerikeri and Russell moved into the area, blocking off a network of rural roads and those leading out on to State Highway 1.

Officers were ready with road spikes at some intersections. Northland police also placed the Auckland-based Eagle helicopter on standby.

SEARCH: Police blocked roads in the Towai and Maromaku area. PHOTO/MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM
SEARCH: Police blocked roads in the Towai and Maromaku area. PHOTO/MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM

Senior Sergeant Chris McLellan, of Kerikeri police, said there were multiple warrants out for the arrest of 25-year-old Corey Wade O'Connell which had been issued in the Kaikohe court in June and as recently as this month.

Mr McLellan said there was an ongoing police investigation into finding O'Connell and on Monday night they had been given information about a crash involving a stolen vehicle in Kawakawa.

A man, believed to be O'Connell, was seen running from the extensively damaged vehicle which struck a lamp post. Yesterday about 8.40am locals in the Maromaku area alerted police that O'Connell was riding a quad bike in the area.

Despite the extensive search, police were unable to find him. The search was called off at 10am.

"He is well known to the community out there so we ask if he is seen that people call police on 111," Mr McLellan said.

"We don't recommend people approach him at this stage. We encourage people to contact us and bring this matter to an end quickly."

O'Connell is European, about 170cm in height with shaven blonde-coloured hair.

Northland police featured him on their Facebook page in July and appealed to the public for help to find him.


While the Eagle helicopter was not called on, police expected it would be used more frequently in Northland given some of the remote locations police were required to search, Mr McLellan said.