A search and rescue operation is underway for a missing fisherman, who was last seen by friends on Sunday.

55-year-old Peter Koziol, from Palmerston North, was believed to be fly-fishing on the Waipawa River on Monday.

Police have concerns for his whereabouts and are urging the public to contact them for any sightings.

Peter Koziol was last seen by friends on Sunday. Photo Supplied
Peter Koziol was last seen by friends on Sunday. Photo Supplied

Hawke's Bay Rescue Helicopter Trust general manager, Ian Wilmot said they assisted the police with their search this morning, combing the river for about an hour-and-a-half.


He said a police officer and paramedic accompanied their pilot and crew member from 10.30am to midday.

However, their search proved unsuccessful.

It is understood they were searching 5km either side of where the Tukituki River meets the Waipawa River.

And while flying conditions today were desireable, Wilmot said the river was "very high after the rain that's fallen in the last day or two and very discoloured".

Koziol is believed to have been a keen fisherman and a regular customer at Hunting & Fishing New Zealand's Palmerston North store.

Anyone with information or sightings of Koziol or his vehicle, a blue Ford falcon, registration ZG4508 was urged to contact Hawke's Bay Police on (06) 831 0815.