Police on the West Coast have grave fears for a man who has been missing in the bush for five days.
The 32-year-old French national, who has been living in the Buller area for the past five years, was due out of the bush in the Corbyvale-Karamea Bluff area on Monday. He was dropped off by a friend last Friday, 18 October, to spend time gold-panning and abseiling.
Senior Constable Michael Voice says the man was only reported missing on Friday night, despite ongoing cold, wet weather in the region.
He says he was well-prepared, tough and had a week's worth of food.
Search and rescue teams are combing the area with a helicopter and sniffer dogs.
The man is about 1.7 metres tall and has long dreadlocks and a beard.