It is too early to say whether human remains discovered at Totaravale Reserve yesterday are those of missing Auckland woman Cissy Chen, police say.

A skull, torso and leg bone were discovered in a drain by a contractor mowing the lawns at the reserve about 12.30pm yesterday.

Police said a post-mortem examination has revealed the bones are those of a woman, but further forensic testing was required to identify them.

Ms Chen, 44, has been missing since November 2012 when she left her Torbay home. Police believe she has been murdered and have previously said they believe her body may be buried in a green area, a park, reserve or waterway near her home.


Waitemata police district communications manager Beth Bates said it was too early to say whether the remains were Ms Chen's.

A search of the drain by a specialist police team last night and this morning resulted in further bones being found, and police were continuing to search the length of the drain for more parts of the skeleton.

The search team was expected to continue their work at the reserve for the next 24 hours.

Forensic results were expected to take several weeks,