The search for a 67-year-old man missing in a Wairapapa forest who has been out of contact since Tuesday has resumed this morning, with 50 people now involved in the search.

Local man John Arthur parked at Otaki Forks on Tuesday and headed for Kime Hut in Tararua Forest Park.

He had planned to return to his car at Otaki Forks by 3:30pm yesterday but never arrived.

He was expected to travel there from Elder Hut via Renata Ridge and Waiotaru Road and track.


Arthur is an experienced tramper who was fit and well-prepared for a short stay, however police were growing concerned for his safety as he hasn't been in contact since Tuesday and was tramping alone.

Temperatures dropped to around 6C in the park over night.

Four search teams who stayed overnight in a hut in Kime Hut in the park have started looking for him again.

A further six teams are due to arrive this morning and will be deployed about 9am.

Police are also utilising the assistance of a RNZAF 3 Squadron NH-90 tactical lift helicopter and crew in the search.

Arthur is Caucasian, of a lean and tall build and balding with short grey hair.

Police would like to hear from anyone who's been in the Tararua Forest Park on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday this week and may have seen John, particularly around Kime Hut, Elder Hut and Otaki Forks.

In May, American mother and daughter Carolyn and Rachel Lloyd made global headlines after they strayed from a path on a one-day hike in Tararua Forest Park.

They spent four freezing nights in the bush before being found by search and rescuers.

Anyone with information which may help in the search for this man is asked to contact Palmerston North Police on 06 351 2535.