Police have released a photograph of missing man Keefe Kaa's vehicle in the hope it will help find him.
Kaa, 59, whose full name is Wi Keefe Kaa, has not been seen since Monday night last week after leaving Rotorua Hospital, where his dying partner was in the intensive care unit.
His partner of 30 years died yesterday morning and his family are asking for the public's help to find Kaa so they can grieve together.
His now nine-day disappearance is being described as incredibly out of character.
His family, including his and his late partner's only daughter, and Kaa's 85-year-old mother, whom he cared for, were desperate for his safe return.
Kaa suffered a heart condition and mild mental illness and his medication, as well as his phone, were still at his Fordlands home. His family said his illnesses were well managed if he took his medication.
His family have told the Rotorua Daily Post they had not seen Kaa since Saturday October 13 when he left his partner's bedside saying he was going to get food.
They said he had been upset about his partner's suffering. Hospital staff saw him on Monday night October 13.
Police have confirmed his bank accounts had not been touched since the start of last week.
Detective Sergeant Tony Colby said police had found security camera footage of Kaa's vehicle seen at the Mobil on Sunset Rd on Sunday October 14 - the day before he was last seen by hospital staff at his partner's bedside.
Kaa is driving his mother's vehicle, a white Mazda hatch, registration HUG497.
Colby said police were scouring other service stations and toll roads to try to see if Kaa had been in those areas.
"The hard thing is he and the vehicle could be anywhere really. It's not one of those Search and Rescue exercises because we simply don't know where to start looking."
Colby said finding the vehicle was crucial.
"That is the key to finding him. It must be somewhere. Even if he is not with the vehicle anymore it will give us a bit more of a focus and a starting point."
Kaa had family and friends in Mamaku, Napier and the East Coast and could be in those areas.
* Anyone with information should contact police immediately on (07) 348 0099 or 111 if it's an emergency