Police have stepped up patrols of schools and renewed their appeal for information about fugitive child rapist Daniel Livingstone.
In a newly released media statement they also moved to clarify their actions after learning Livingstone had tampered with his GPS ankle bracelet.
Livingstone remains missing, more than 36 hours after Corrections staff got an automatic alarm that the bracelet had been tampered with.
The statement said police started looking for Livingstone after first visiting his Upper Hutt address at 3.50am yesterday.
He was "actively sought as an absconder" from the moment a knock at the door failed to get a response. Steps taken included area patrols, area and background enquiries and checking an address of an associate, police said.
Police twice visited his home early yesterday at Corrections' request without entering.
"In these circumstances, there are no specific powers of entry without warrant for a constable to forcibly enter premises when they believe an offender is not there," the statement said.
Police forced entry on the third occasion "given the seriousness of the situation".
While officers are working exact details of the events of yesterday morning, their immediate focus is to find Livingstone, they said. Theyreminded the public he is a high-risk offender who should not be approached and said he may have changed his appearance.
They confirmed he left a note but said its meaning is unclear.
Anyone with information should contact police immediately on 111, pass information, anonymously, to CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.
The fresh appeal came after ministers demanded answers to how Livingstone dodged supposedly strict monitoring.
Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga said today he was "deeply concerned" and had asked officials for more details about Livingstone's monitoring, but said all parts of the justice system had to work together.
"The Livingstone situation is simply not good enough. Police and Corrections must work together to achieve quicker and more effective response times," Mr Lotu-Iiga said in a statement.
GPS monitoring was not intended to be a silver bullet, he said, but was one of a number of tools used by Corrections.
"The anklets are not indestructible but an alarm is activated if they are tampered with and that alarm is acted on by Corrections and often Police. In Livingstone's case, that occurred far too late."
Police Minister Michael Woodhouse has also asked for an urgent briefing on the incident, a spokeswoman said.
The case comes as figures show there have been more than 15,500 breaches of conditions relating to offenders on home detention and community detention over a nine year period since 2006/7.
The figures relate to all breaches, not only electronic monitoring, and are for breaches rather than offenders - meaning some people might be responsible for multiple breaches.
There were 3300 offenders being electronically monitored as of June.
Labour police and Corrections spokesman Kelvin Davis said the situation was unacceptable.
"There should be some prisoners that have some sort of extra alert attached to their names. I know a guy that was on home detention with a bracelet because of some petty things ... if there was an hour delay if there was an alert on his bracelet I wouldn't be terribly concerned.
"But for some guy that has raped a kid ... and has shown no signs of rehabilitation, and the reports say that he is a danger to the community, surely to goodness, when there is an alert around that guy, people swing into action."
Livingstone was living in Upper Hutt after his release from jail last year for the abduction and rape of a 10-year-old girl in Whangarei in 2006. He was subject to a court-imposed Extended Supervision Order (ESO). They are for offenders who cannot be kept in prison any longer.
Worried Hutt Valley residents voiced their concerns about Livingstone on social media.
"My babies go to primary here and the thought of that f***wit being in upper Hutt not only makes me furious but scared as a mum," one wrote on Facebook.
Upper Hutt mayor hits out
Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy joined criticism of Corrections and police for their lacklustre response.
"You've got a dangerous criminal, someone who has committed the worst crimes that are possible, locked up safely, so-called, and he can cut the anklet off and walk out into the community, and no response for seven hours? Sorry, as a nation, if that's as good as the technology we've got, then keep them behind bars."
Livingstone is considered at high risk of reoffending and likely to target pre-pubescent girls.
Mr Guppy told the Herald he had no idea Livingstone had been living in Upper Hutt till learning of his escape yesterday evening on a news bulletin.
He said he "absolutely" should have been notified that a dangerous predator had been placed in his city under surveillance.
"From the point of view of the community, when you have people being monitored in the immediate area, people should know.
"The important thing is we can notify the community too, just to be a little more aware and keep observant and take a few more precautions.
"The issue for me is if people are being monitored and under surveillance and being watched, then we have a big problem in this country when it takes seven hours to respond.
"The systems are not in place and when the systems are not in place, communities are not safe. They shouldn't be out being monitored until we as a nation can sort it out."
Mr Guppy said he planned to raise the matter urgently with Corrections and police, and any other agencies who had been involved in the monitoring of Livingstone.
It was "bloody disgraceful" the incident came to light only hours after Tony Robertson was sentenced in Auckland to at least 24 years in jail for the rape and murder of Blessie Gotingco. Robertson had also been under extended supervision and GPS monitoring when he committed the killing.
"This is not an Upper Hutt thing, this is for the whole country to say, 'If we've got have people being at home monitored, if that's going to occur, we need to have systems in place so that communities are safe', because at the moment you've got to say that they're not."
Mr Lotu-Iiga had previously ordered an independent review of how Corrections monitored Robertson, and on Monday discussed with Cabinet what form it might take.
Asked today whether that review should be widened to look at how all monitoring is carried out, Mr Davis said waiting months for another review to be completed was not good enough.
Mr Lotu-Iiga should already have put in place interim measures for handling the worst offenders.
"Police and Corrections I think have dropped the ball...this guy is a red-alert case," Mr Davis said. "The first thing I would say if I was the minister is, 'let's identify the red-alert guys on GPS, and if there is any sign of an alert coming out there needs to be a presence of their front door within 15 minutes."
Paul Tomlinson, Corrections' regional commissioner for the Lower North Region, said staff were working closely with police to find Livingstone.
"Any offender who tries to circumvent their electronic monitoring will be held to account and could face criminal charges for a breach of their conditions which could result in them being returned to prison."
Livingstone is described as 175 centimetres tall, Maori and of medium build.
It's thought he might have two suitcases with him.
GPS and Radio frequency monitoring
Corrections uses two types of electronic monitoring to track prisoners it needs to keep an eye on.
Either Radio Frequency (RF) or Global Positioning System (GPS) is used to monitor an offender's compliance with the conditions of their sentence or order.
According to Corrections' website:
• RF monitoring is specifically used to monitor the offender at their detention address. It is predominantly used for community detention.
• GPS monitoring can be used to monitor the whereabouts of an offender whether they are away from their address or at home. It is used for: extended supervision orders (ESO's) - such as those imposed on Blessie Gotingo's murderer Tony Robinson and missing child sex offender Daniel Livingstone - parole, home detention, electronically monitored bail, temporary release, release to work, and Child Youth and Family monitored offenders.
The tracker must be worn 24 hours a day, seven days a week during their sentence or order.
A monitoring unit is also installed at the offender's address and in some cases their place of employment. The offender's tracker is registered to the unit and together they monitor the offender's presence or absence.
Both RF and GPS monitoring provide real-time monitoring of the offender, which allows early detection of non-compliance.
The Department contracts global company 3M to install and remove the electronic equipment and to manage the monitoring centre.
In some cases, the probation officer may approve the tracker to be temporarily removed - for example air travel or admission to hospital.
The devices can be removed using light tools. However they contain anti-tampering technology that triggers an alert when they are removed without permission.
A monitoring centre is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.