Human remains discovered near Taipa on Monday could possibly be Northland woman Leeann Scott who has been missing for five years.
Leeann Ailini Scott, 48, was last seen at the Taipa shops on December 12, 2014.
On the day, Scott left her home in Cable Bay at 10.15am dressed for her usual walk, a 3km route that took her along a picturesque stretch of beach and over the Oruru River to Taipa.
She was seen at the Taipa shops, then never again.
Earlier this week human remains were located in scrubland in Taipa. Police said the remains appeared to have been at the site for several years.
Scott's sister Lillian Mann said they were still awaiting a 100 per cent confirmation from police, but it was highly possible the remains were her sister.
"We are very hopeful that it is her," Mann said.
"Police have us on standby, and we were also able to have family present when she was transferred to Auckland last night.
"Now we have to wait for more forensic testing to be done."
This morning, Scott's partner Mick Corden told Stuff that he'd been contacted by police but could not give details of the investigation.
Corden said the news was a huge relief, "It's finally come to a closure and it's good for everybody," he told Stuff.
Police earlier said formal identification of the remains could take an extended period of time.
Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston said the remains were located at about 12.30pm on Monday by a Top Energy crew clearing bush under power lines near Taipa's town centre.
The remains were removed offsite yesterday, and a post-mortem examination was taking place in Auckland today and tomorrow - while a forensic examination was expected to take several days.
Johnston said the scene examination was expected to be completed later today.
When asked about the identification of the remains, he said, "Police will not be drawn into speculation on the possible identity of the remains until formal identification has been completed."
Forensic methods such as dental records or DNA analysis would be required to identify the remains.
'She had everything to live for'
Five years ago, Corden reported his partner missing on the afternoon of December 12.
Despite a major search by police, search and rescue, members of the Mangonui Fire Brigade and Mangonui Lions Club no trace was found.
Scott had bipolar disorder, and took other medication to treat a form of epilepsy.
She had been in a relationship with Corden for 21 years and the pair lived together.
A few months after her disappearance he told NZME that she had "not been well" before she went missing, but had had everything to live for.
Three months after her disappearance, after reviewing the missing person file, police started back at ground zero. A three day search was carried out using cadaver dogs.
Extra cops were called north and went door-to-door in the Cable Bay and Taipa areas, desperate for any information that could lead them to Scott. But again nothing was found.
The following September Scott's family made complaints to the Independent Police Conduct Authority and Police National Headquarters about the investigation.
Mann earlier said she felt the police believed her sister "was suicidal, bipolar and it was her wish to go off and commit suicide and never be found".
Because of this, she did not feel they had done enough to investigate her disappearance.
"I know for a fact she never would have done that," she said.
At the time, the family said they believed there was a very real possibility that Scott had become the victim of foul play and that someone out there knew what happened and who did it.
Police had not ruled this out - but didn't have evidence to support any theory of what happened.
After the discovery of remains, Corden told Stuff the family was still no further ahead in finding out what happened to Scott, and would have to wait for reports from the pathologist and police.