The police-led search for missing Dunedin man Stephen Lowe has been called off, but a private search is set to take its place.

Senior Constable Murray Hewitson, of Owaka, confirmed the search had been called off.

A meeting between those in charge of the search would be held later this morning to discuss further options, Senior Constable Hewitson said.

Mr Lowe's wife Liz Carroll-Lowe posted on social media about the search being called off.


"It is with a great deal of sadness and shock that the formal police search for Steve has been called off.

"After intense searching by LandSar volunteers for the last six days there has been absolutely nothing found to indicate where in the bush he might be," she said.

She called for help with a private search.

"We are to organise a private search in coming weeks so please let me know if you wish to be part of this."

She also asked people to keep sharing his picture and media updates to keep him at the forefront of people's minds.

"That's how we will bring him home.

"He was too good of a man to forget easily."

She was thankful for the support the family had received.


"The family is wrecked, emotionally and physically but we thank you all for your messages and acts of support."

Mr Lowe left work on Portsmouth Dr in Dunedin about 10am on Friday, September 15, and has not been seen or heard from since.

The focus of the search, which included police, search and rescue volunteers and the Police National Dive Squad, had been on the Catlins area where Mr Lowe's black BMW car was found by a member of the public in the Catlins Conservation Park area on Tuesday.