A 2-year-old girl who went missing in bush in Motueka with her puppy this afternoon has been found safe and well, 3km away from home.

Tasman police found the toddler and her 4-month-old puppy at about11.20pm.

Acting Senior Sergeant Nigel McMorran police, search and rescue volunteers, neighbours and family searched for the pair for five hours.

"A search and rescue volunteer located them safe and well in the bush, at least 3km away from the family's home. The girl and the puppy have been returned to their very relieved family."


Tasman Police were "inundated" with offers of help, he said.

"We extend our sincere gratitude to the local community for their help and support."

The little girl hadn't been seen since 4pm. She was with the family puppy, a 4-month-old bulldog-staffy cross, which also went missing from the Little Sydney Rd address, in the Motueka suburb of Brooklyn.

The rural property is surrounded by extensive bush. A helicopter was on standby but police said poor weather conditions had kept it grounded.

About 20 people scoured the area for the little girl, including off-duty police officers, search and rescue personnel and neighbours. A police dog unit also helped.