The desperate family of a student missing for 18 days are refusing to give up hope, yesterday hiring a helicopter to scour Auckland's west coast, the man's brother says.

Guoquan Wu, also known as Laurence Wu, hasn't been seen since March 10. Photo / Supplied
Guoquan Wu, also known as Laurence Wu, hasn't been seen since March 10. Photo / Supplied

Guoquan Wu, also known as Laurence Wu, hasn't been seen since March 10 on Sainsbury Rd, in the suburb of St Lukes. His vehicle - a Hyundai Santa Fe with the licence plate number GSE162 - was found at Piha Beach car park two days later.

Searches have turned up nothing.

The 22-year-old University of Auckland student's parents and brother, Lucas, flew to New Zealand from the family's home city of Guangzhou, in China.

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Lucas Wu told the Herald they were feeling "helpless" after days of searching.

"We've been to Piha many times. We checked every place he might be, but so far we've found nothing. We've also checked the university, the casino, internet cafes, clubs."

The family had also put up a lot of missing person posters, but no one had come forward with information.

Wu had broken up with his girlfriend recently, and she told family Wu said he was going to Piha to "clear his mind".

However, family did not believe Wu had deliberately harmed himself, Lucas Wu said.

"He's a funny and outgoing person."

His parents were "crying", but hadn't given up on finding their son.

"We still keep hope."

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A police spokeswoman said they were still "conducting a number of lines of inquiry" into Wu's disappearance. The most recent official search was of Piha and surrounding areas on Tuesday.

"Police have spoken to his family and friends to establish his movements leading up to his disappearance, and anyone who has been in touch with him who has not made contact with police is asked to contact us."

A report of a possible sighting of Wu had been investigated, but had not resulted in any new information, the spokeswoman said.

Police are continuing to appeal to anyone who may have seen Wu in the Piha area to contact them.

Anyone with information can contact Sergeant Tania Kingi from Avondale Police on (09) 302 6400. Information can also be shared by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.