A search is under way in Kawerau for a 7-year-old girl.

The girl, named only as Hine-Ataahua, was last seen leaving school about 3pm today.

Search and rescue volunteers met at Kawerau New World about 10.30pm and were briefed by local police about spreading out and searching for her.

"A young 7-year-old girl with the name of Hine has gone missing somewhere around this town," a police officer said at the scene.

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"Last confirmed sighting we've had is about 3 o'clock this afternoon. We're pushing on now close to seven-and-a-half hours since she's last been seen."

A police spokesperson confirmed to the Herald a missing persons report had been issued in relation to Hine's disappearance and police are making inquiries.

Any sightings or information should be reported to Kawerau police on 07 323 1400.