The mother of a Whakatāne man missing for almost a week just wants her "lovely, caring and kind" son back home.

Joseph Webb was last seen a week ago walking around the Whakatāne coastline at Kohi Point between 2pm and 3pm.

Webb's mother Tina Newton told the Rotorua Daily Post while the past few days had been exhausting, she and Joseph's three siblings remained positive he would be found.

"We're a pretty tight-knit family and we've definitely had our up and down moments since Joseph went missing," Newton said. "But we lean on each other and bounce off each other every day."

24-year-old missing Whakatāne man Joseph Webb. Photo / Supplied
24-year-old missing Whakatāne man Joseph Webb. Photo / Supplied

For the past five days, search teams including trained search dogs, Surf Club volunteers, Coastguard volunteers, helicopters and drones have been scouring the wider Kohi Point area where Webb was last seen.

"We've had so many friends and family join in the search. Some of these people we hadn't seen for years but when they heard Joseph was missing, they came to help out."

Many had travelled large distances to be in Whakatāne.

"The support has been overwhelming," she said.

Newton said she had positively identified pieces of clothing belonging to Webb that had been found on the beach but believed they had been placed there by walkers who had found them somewhere in the bush.

Webb had dealt with bouts of depression in the past and Newton believes he may have gone into the bush in an effort to get himself better.

While Search and Rescue teams today scaled back their search in the area Webb was last seen, family, friends and police have vowed to continue.

"Police had a drone up there today and are expecting a bigger one with more capability tomorrow. We are also looking in other areas that were special to Joseph."


Newton urged the public to keep an eye out for her son.

"It might be the smallest thing but I ask anyone who sees anything to contact police."

Police have also urged anyone who walked the Kohi Point track on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, and who may have seen Webb, to get in touch.

Webb is described as medium build with short dark hair and a short cut moustache.

He has a ta moko on his left upper arm and was wearing dark-coloured track pants when he was last seen.

Anyone with information can call police on 105 and quote the number 190724/0842.

"I just want my son home," Newton said. "He is so very loved and so very missed."