A man has been reported missing after failing to return from a tramp in the Tararua Ranges.

Police said the 60-year-old man had gone on a four-day tramping trip on January 31 and was due home on Sunday.

A search and rescue (SAR) operation was launched on Tuesday morning, where teams have been conducting a ground search and checking tracks and huts.

Today, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) announced it has joined the search following a request from police.

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Air Commodore Tim Walshe said a Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopter was flying search and rescue personnel to the Tararuas this afternoon.

There are eight SAR teams plus NZDF's Air Force helicopter out searching today.