A man whose $40,000 digger has been stolen is urging police to act quickly to nab the thief.

Little Digger Hire manager Leonard Blake says a drain layer from Howick contacted him to hire a digger last Sunday.

He says they arranged to meet in Karaka but when he got there the digger had been wrenched from the vehicle it was secured to.

Leonard Blake says the man has been sending him text messages, demanding a $2500 payment to return it.

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He says police have told him to stop texting him and that they're too busy to do anything at the moment.

Leonard Blake says it's a Hitachi ZX 14, only one of three in the country.

He says the man who has the digger is known to police.

Blake says he has given them the man's name, bank account numbers and his driver's licence number.