The search is continuing for a man who has not been seen since being swept into the water at Hunua Falls yesterday.

The police dive squad will return to the site in the Hunua Ranges, southeast of Auckland, sometime this morning, a police spokeswoman said.

Emergency services spent Sunday afternoon scouring the surrounding area for the man but he had not been located before they packed up for the night at 11pm.

The accessway to Hunua Falls has been closed while emergency services continue the search.


Land Search and Rescue, along with police and the police helicopter, were also involved in the search.

The swimming hole has claimed several lives over the years, including two teenagers in March 2016.

Peter Lemalu, 17, and Lilatoni Vetemotu, 13, both died at the falls within several days of each other after getting into difficulty.

Their deaths resulted in a plea from drowning victims' families to close the swimming hole, however, they were unsuccessful.

In April 2016, Auckland Council parks manager Mark Bowater said there were no plans to fence the falls or assign lifeguards.

"It's an incredibly scenic, beautiful spot [but lifeguards] are not being seriously considered, so there's no fundamental change to the site."

He said using lifeguards would send the message that people were encouraged to swim there, when council recommends people avoid doing so.

Several combining factors make the falls hazardous to swimmers.


Bowater said the extreme variations in depth meant swimmers could go from waist-deep water around the edge to depths of up to 19m in one step.

"We've got very deep water there, that's one of the main hazards.

"There's a sharp drop-off from the edges. There are some shallow edges that are quite visible and there are even rocks where you can cross from one side to the other but they are slippery.

"You've got a sharp drop down to that deepest point."

The waterfall is 30m high, and as fresh water hits the pool from that height it aerates, making it less buoyant.