Concerns are held for the safety of a three-year-old boy taken by his father after a violent family incident in Whangarei today.

Police say the man, Tehuru (Tony) Paratene was last seen leaving an address with his son Kaui on foot and has not been seen since.

Paratene was involved in an incident with other family members about 12.30pm today.

During the course of the incident, the child was allegedly assaulted, said a police spokesman.

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Fears were held for the safety of the pre-schooler and police were seeking assistance from the Northland community to locate the pair.

Anyone with information have been asked to contact the Whangarei Police Station on 09 430 4500 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.