A drone and the military have been brought in as the search for 10-year-old Alex Fisher in a forest near Levin enters its third day.
Police say a team of more than 60 – including military personnel – will be involved in today's search for Alex, who hasn't been seen since Monday evening.
The team now includes 25 Defence Force personnel from Ohakea and Linton Military Camp. The start time of the search was delayed by about half an hour as the military headed for a briefing.
At least five light armoured vehicles were being used for transporting army personnel and not to help in the search.
Area commander Inspector Sarah Stewart says the concern for Alex is growing.
"This is our third day, the weather hasn't been great overnight. If he's outside, it's cold, it's wet. He's got asthma and we're really concerned for his safety so again we appeal to the public to let us know if they have any information about the whereabouts of Alex."
She was adamant the operation was still a search and rescue operation.
Alex's family have been involved in the search at times, and are worried about him.
Searchers today will focus on southern areas of the Waitarere Forest, which were not covered yesterday. There will also be thorough examinations of areas already looked at.
Insp Stewart says there are "some indications" the north block of the forest will be the next search area.
A person with identity suppression appeared in court yesterday in relation to Alex's disappearance, but police maintain this is still a search and rescue operation.
Area commander Inspector Sarah Stewart maintains the public's help is vital in this case.
"We again ask anyone in the Waitarere area to look at the picture of Alex and his brother Eric taken at the Waitarere Four Square on Monday around 6:15pm," she says.
"If you haven't yet checked your property – particularly sheds, garages and outbuildings – please do so as soon as you can."
During their search yesterday, police checked 300 properties, with door-to-door checks continuing today.
Police are checking whether a break-in at Waitarere is connected with the case.
A number of Alex's items, including an inhaler, spacer and pencil case have been found during the search so far.
Police are particularly concerned after finding the inhaler and spacer, as it has been more than 36 hours since Alex last had the items for his asthma.
Alex's family released a statement thanking everyone who has been involved in the search.
"Hour by hour, our worry grows and our concern grows."
Anyone with information can contact Police directly or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
3 News / NZN