An investigation is underway after an elderly woman went missing from her Auckland rest home nearly three weeks ago.
Maree Wilkins, aged 85, was last seen at her Leigh Road Cottages care home about 5.30pm on November 7 and was reported missing the next day.
She is believed to have left on foot but police searches and a huge community effort to find her has failed to find a trace of her.
The Ministry of Health's HealthCert manager Emma Prestidge said Waitemata District Health Board would be overseeing the rest home's internal investigation of what lead to Wilkins' disappearance "to ensure that it is/has been robust and all issues are identified and addressed."
The DHB would report back to the Ministry and will monitor the facility to ensure any necessary corrective actions are implemented, Prestidge said.
A DHB spokesman said it couldn't answer questions while the investigation was underway, and the rest home declined to be interviewed.
The rest home was last audited in February and according to that report it had just been taken over by new management.
Warkworth police's sergeant Scott Shearer confirmed the search for the missing woman was suspended last week after extensive land and aerial searches spanning several kilometres, including thick bush around the rest home.
He said police were keeping "an open mind" about what had happened, but didn't believe her disappearance was suspicious, or that foul play was involved.
"The ground search focused on a large area of surrounding bush, as well as local roads and pathways, while extensive searches were also conducted around the nearby estuary," he said.
"Aerial searches have also been conducted which included searches of the coastline covering the area from Ti Point to Omaha Beach and the Whangateau Harbour."
Wilkins had no relatives in New Zealand. Her niece Dale Fewings told the Herald on Sunday she migrated to New Zealand from England in 1967.
Wilkins married a New Zealand man, who died in 2010. She had no children but Fewings visited her frequently.
She had lived in the care home for just a few months when she went missing.
"She has always been a very resourceful woman, strong willed and strong of body."
Wilkins had been looking forward to an outing with a friend and Fewings suspected she had become confused.
"She finds time a difficult concept and once something is in her mind, she thinks it will happen immediately. (Wilkins is) a very lively and interesting woman who just wanted to be on the move.
"I think she saw an opportunity to take off and grasped the chance. I am very hopeful that she is still around somewhere and we shall find her. She is very resourceful and would ask for some help if she needed it."
The care home had been in frequent contact with her and she said were "very concerned" about Wilkins' disappearance.
Community member Angie Harvey spearheaded public searches and said the Leigh community was very concerned.
"There's so many questions and there's no answers," she said. "She's just nowhere. How is it that she's just disappeared? If she was in the water how come she hasn't popped back up?
"There's no way she could be unnoticed, not a little old lady like that. We don't have footpaths out here. Somebody would have stopped to check on her if she was on the road.
"There's no closure for the family, and there's no closure for us. Everyone is really upset about it."
Wilkins was last seen wearing a colourful top, black pants and gumboots.
Police are still asking for anyone with possible sightings to contact Warkworth Police on (09) 425 8109.