The body of missing man Alan Pritchard has been found near his Taupo property, on the fourth day of a search for him.

The family of the 78-year-old were distraught as the search for him entered its fourth day this morning.

He was last seen putting rubbish bins out at the Bonshaw Park home he lives in with wife at 9.15am on Thursday.

Search teams have been scanning the area since, but there is still no sign of him.


Rescuers fear for the 78-year-old, especially if he has spent three nights out in the open where temperatures have plunged to as cold as 0C overnight.

Taupo Police Senior Constable Barry Shepherd said 28 volunteers from Taupo, Turangi, Waikato and Hawke's Bay were in seven search parties and were today focusing on forestry areas east of the Pritchards' home.
"[The Pritchard family] are distraught, they are pretty upset that Alan's disappeared," he said.

"We are concerned for Alan's safety, if a man goes missing in these circumstances - and potentially he could have been out in the open for the past three nights, that's a concern."

However, rescuers were still hopeful and working hard, Shepherd said.

He said Pritchard was last seen wearing a blue Swanndri hat with earflaps, a light grey jacket, grey cotton drill pants, black leather boots and a black jersey.

Pritchard has Alzheimer's disease and wears a hearing aid and glasses.