Police are concerned for the safety of a 78-year-old Taupo Alzheimers sufferer who has not been seen since putting his rubbish bin out three days ago.

Alan Pritchard was last seen at the gate of his Bonshaw Park residence, 6km east of Taupo, at 9.15am on Thursday.

Prtichard was wearing a blue hat with ear flaps, grey trousers, a grey jacket over a black jersey, and black boots. He suffers from Alzheimers and wears hearing aids and glasses.

His family spent the morning unsuccessfully searching for him, then called police just after 1pm.


LandSAR volunteers, Police with rescue dogs, Taupo Civil Defence Response Team and Taupo Rural Fire have been involved in the search for Pritchard.

The Taupo-based Greenlea Rescue helicopter was also used on Friday morning to search forestry and farmland adjacent to Bonshaw Park.

Despite the many hours of searching, there is still no sign of him.

"Searchers have experienced challenging weather conditions, terrain and vegetation in the area around Bonshaw Park, and our concern for Mr Pritchard's safety continues to grow," Senior Constable Barry Shepherd of Taupo Police said.

"We thank the local residents, and friends and family of Mr Pritchard who have been looking for him, and encourage others in the area to keep their eyes out,"

Anyone with information which could help find Pritchard, especially those who live at, work around, or who have visited Bonshaw Park on Thursday morning between 9.15 and 10am, are asked to contact police.