Police say a Wanganui man, who was reported missing after failing to return from a hunting trip, has wasted police time and resources by not telling anyone he was actually going to visit friends for a few days.

Tamehana Paul Campbell, 33, had planned to go on an overnight hunting trip on Friday with another man.

Police were alerted to his disappearance when he failed to return from the trip.

But Inspector Steve Mastrovic told APNZ Mr Campbell had actually gone to visit friends in Papaiti, 12km north east of Wanganui, and not told anyone on his plans.

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"It's wasted a considerable amount of time and resources looking for him."

Mr Mastrovic said since Iraena Asher went missing in 2004 after a botched police response to her call for help, police put a lot of resources into every missing person case.

"It was pretty irresponsible for an adult to hive off like that and not tell anyone what he's going to do.

"We could be using that time to be doing something more productive."

However, Mr Mastrovic said people should always contact police if somebody is missing and not be concerned with the reaction if the person turns up safe and well.