A man arrested and charged in relation to the abduction of a young girl in Palmerston North has appeared in the Rotorua District Court.

The man appeared in the Rotorua District Court yesterday.

He has been remanded in custody to appear in Palmerston North District Court next month.

He has interim name suppression.


Inspector Sarah Stewart said in a statement yesterday she hoped the development would provide reassurance to the community.

She wanted to thank the community for their support and assistance throughout the investigation.

A number of suppression orders were made preventing media from publishing any further details about the man.

The principal of the school the girl attended said the news of an arrest was "a relief".

"As can be expected, we're relieved. We're relieved for the girl's whanau."

Palmerston North mayor Grant Smith said the arrest was a "real relief".

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"There's obvious relief that an arrest has been made ... Relief not only for the family but also for the community of Palmerston North."

Mr Smith said there had been "understandable angst"in the community following the abduction.

"As you can expect, people, especially those with young kids, were quite worried.

"Something like this is very rare for any community in New Zealand.

"Parents need to look out for the children, as always, but hopefully they'll begin to feel safe allowing their children to walk to school again."

Police launched a massive manhunt for the alleged offender after the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was taken from Shamrock St last Friday. She was taken as she walked to school with her two sisters about 8.30am on Friday.

About two hours later she was dumped outside a house on Hind Pl. NZME.