9 Apr 2012

Missing tourist hitchhiker found safe

7:57 pm on 9 April 2012

The Slovakian hitchhiker who had been missing near Motueka has been found safe and well.

Police say Martina Direrova, 23, was being interviewed by officers at Motueka station on Monday evening.

Ms Direrova was staying at a picker's bach in Motueka Valley and intended to hitchhike about 15 km into town about 2pm on Saturday to get some groceries.

She was seen getting into a dark green vehicle but had not been heard from since and friends reported her missing to police.

Ms Direrova was found late on Monday afternoon.

Police say she had changed her plans at the last minute but had not told anyone of her new plans.

They say the case is a good reminder that people should keep friends and family updated about their plans so police time and resources are not wasted.