Still hope for missing Auckland woman, says survival specialist

9:23 pm on 27 March 2017

The search for a young Auckland woman has ended for the night but a survival specialist says there is still hope she is alive.

Search and rescue workers preparing to search for missing Auckland woman Kim Bambus.

Search and rescue workers preparing to search for Kim Bambus. Photo: RNZ / Eva Corlett

Police crawled on their hands and knees through bush in west Auckland as they continued the search for Kim Bambus today

It was the fourth day of the search for the 21-year-old woman, and follows a night of heavy rain.

Ms Bambus has not been seen since Friday morning when she told her friends she was going to Piha for a run.

She was spotted at the Countdown supermarket in the area, but her car was found parked near the entrance to Ahuahu Track on Log Race Road on Saturday and Ms Bambus has not been seen since.

Kim Bambus was last seen in Ponsonby.

Kim Bambus Photo: Supplied / New Zealand Police

Officers and volunteers spent the weekend scouring the bush for her.

Surf lifesaving boats and the police helicopter carried out further sweeps of the coastline this afternoon but nothing was found.

Polie said they were continuing to support Ms Bambus' family and the search would resume around the Mercer Bay area tomorrow morning.

Ms Bambus was last seen wearing a dark-coloured jacket, pink exercise top, black shorts and black-and-white Nike sneakers.

Stu Gilbert, from SOS Survival Training, said the sea and sparse coastal bush would present different challenges for someone missing at Piha.

"We're not talking deep wilderness survival here, so if she's able and has got limited first aid injuries then hopefully she can make herself known to people, because there's people in the area."

He said the area was not remote and there were often walkers and runners passing through.

Today, 22 police officers and search and rescue volunteers were out at first light.

Sergeant Ollie Nation said crews were working in challenging terrain, with steep cliffs and dense bush in parts.

"We've had staff on hands and knees crawling through bush.

"It is a fairly small area, and there are lots of people using this area as well, so [we're] quite concerned we haven't found her yet."

West Auckland was hit by heavy rains overnight.

Despite this, temperatures have been warm, which Sergeant Nation said was fortunate.

Kim Bambus was last seen at the Countdown supermarket in Ponsonby.

Kim Bambus was last seen at the Countdown supermarket in Ponsonby. Photo: NZ Police

One local resident said the area could be dangerous if you did not know it well.

"There's plenty of cliffs around there, heaps of real unstable ground, pretty dodgy terrain around there," he said.

"If you like, tripped and broke your leg or rolled an ankle or something you'd find it pretty hard to get out of there by yourself."

Auckland Tramping Club president Tony Walton said the track was straightforward but someone could easily trip and there were gullies in the area.

Detective Inspector Hayden Mander told a news conference yesterday the search was yet to yield any definite leads.

He said her family were holding up well and had been involved in the search today.

"We've spoke to Kim's mum and dad. They're reasonably stoic at this stage and they are out there helping in the search phase.

"And her sister is also helping."

View from near the Ahuahu track.

The terrain near Ahuahu Track. Photo: RNZ / Eva Corlett