Police hunting a serial arsonist linked to 16 fires say the firebug has caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.

Counties Manukau police are investigating a series of 16 suspicious fires in the Pukekohe, Drury and Papakura areas since April 21.

Today they have released an image of the suspect.

The arsonist has targeted show homes, vacant houses being built and a primary school.

Advertisement

The latest target was a Pukekohe home under construction on Sunday night.

Counties Manukau South Area Commander Inspector Dave Glossop said the fires were "very concerning".

"We have put together an investigation team and are working closely with Fire and Emergency New Zealand. We want to assure our community that we are following positive lines of enquiry but would like anyone who recognises the person in these images to contact police immediately.

"While the photo does not show the suspect's face, we believe that someone may recognise the clothing and build of the offender," said Glossop.

An image of the arson suspect. Image / Police
An image of the arson suspect. Image / Police

"We estimate the total damage to the properties to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not higher. We have brought in extra resources and our staff are actively patrolling high-risk areas. We urge our community to contact 111 immediately if they notice any suspicious activity particularly in the Counties Manukau South area from Papakura to Pukekohe."