Police have suspended the search for an elderly eastern Bay of Plenty man missing for five days, after hopes were dashed today that he had been seen on Monday.

Opotiki man Sidney Koroua, 74, was reported missing by his son on Sunday afternoon.

Mr Koroua went to lay a possum poisoning line in the bush in the Waioeka Gorge, off State Highway 2 south of Opotiki, at 8am and has not been seen since.

Search and rescue teams were today searching part of the gorge after a possible sighting of Mr Koroua on Monday morning.

However, police have discounted that sighting and suspended the search pending more information, Detective Sergeant John Wilson said.

The bush near where he was reported missing had been searched extensively, although it was possible he was there and had not been found.

Mr Koroua was described as Maori, last seen wearing track pants with a white stripe, a grey t-shirt, and a full-brimmed hat. He has several medical conditions.

Rotorua police would like to speak to anyone who was travelling on State Highway 2 between Opotiki and Gisborne on Sunday or Monday or anyone who knows Mr Koroua's whereabouts.

- NZPA