Christchurch police believe two high-risk parolees who escaped from a residential rehabilitation facility are in the Arthur's Pass area, together with a third man.
Sex offender Ivan Andrew Campbell fled from the Salisbury Foundation, accompanied by Jaydon Gallan, early on Wednesday morning.
Ivan Campbell, 46, is Pakeha, 1.77m tall of medium to thin build with extensive tattoos on his face, arms and neck.
Jaydon Galland, 18, is also Pakeha, of similar height and medium build with tattoos on his neck.
They are believed to have met with a third man, Jamie Campbell, who is also known as Alexander Paul Jones, 25.
He is described as Pakeha, tall and of slim build, with dark hair and a beard.
Detective Inspector Tom Fitzgerald says: "Specifically we believe they may be in the area around Klondyke Corner - which is a popular location with hunters and trampers.
"We believe they may be sleeping rough, or in huts, and may have made preparations to remain in the bush for some time."
Detective Inspector Fitzgerald says a white Honda Civic hatchback owned by Jamie Campbell was first seen in the area last Thursday morning, but it is possible the three men have been in the area since last Wednesday.
"We would urge members of the public to avoid that area if at all possible, and not to park vehicles at Klondyke Corner. Although we are not aware of any specific threat to the public, these are high-risk offenders and their behaviour may be unpredictable."
The Honda Civic was found on Saturday abandoned on a back road at Klondyke Corner.
Any sightings of the men should be reported urgently to police by phoning 111, or Christchurch police on (03) 3637400, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.