A dozen police staff are today searching a Feilding riverbank as part of an investigation into the disappearance of shearer Bevan Wright.
Mr Wright, 43, disappeared from his sister's home in Feilding, in the Manawatu, on January 9.
Police have stepped up their investigation into the case and believe his disappearance is suspicious, with the search being sparked by a tip-off from the public.
Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Bensemann said today there were now 12 search and rescue staff combing the riverbank area near the Aorangi Bridge.
Another 12 police officers were working on the case from the Feilding police station.
Mr Bensemann said someone must know something about what happened to Mr Wright and urged them to come forward, no matter how irrelevant the information may seem.
"Someone out there must know something that can assist in locating him, whether he be dead or alive, albeit as each day passes it would appear more likely that Mr Wright is deceased."
Mr Wright is described as a Maori with short black hair, about 174cm tall and of medium build.
Originally from Pahiatua, in the northern Wairarapa, he was working as a shearer and had previously worked on commercial fishing boats.
Mr Bensemann said Mr Wright's family were extremely distressed and appealed for the public to help them.