The father of an Upper Hutt boy who went missing with his friends is furious with police who were fooled by the teens.
The teenagers, believed to be three boys and two girls, ran away on Wednesday after skipping their last class at college.
Two of them have now been found.
"Police were contacted shortly before 9pm last night by a man who said his step-son had not returned home from school and had possibly run away from home," a police spokesperson says.
"The caller advised that there were no concerns for the boy's safety or mental well-being, and no formal missing person report was made at this stage - the man said he would come to the station in the morning to do that."
Speaking to RadioLIVE's Ali Mau, Ryan Pullman said police found the group of teens in the Ngauranga Gorge.
However the group gave police fake names - and then conned police into dropping them off at a house in Porirua.
Police say the officers didn't know the children were runaways.
"Early this morning, five teenagers were noticed by a police unit walking up Ngauranga Gorge. The group advised they were on their way to a family member's home in Titahi Bay," a police spokesperson says.
"Police gave them a ride to the address, so that they didn't have to walk that distance at night.
"As no missing person reports had been filed, the police unit had no reason to believe that the teenagers were missing/runaways or that there was anything amiss."
Mr Pullman says he is furious at the police officers who were taken in.
"We've chased every possible little lead you can imagine," he said.
"They picked up four of these kids and popped them at an address last night because they gave them a false story and false names and the cops believed it."
He says the group was stopped because the police were worried for their safety, but they didn't follow it up.
"It's absolutely crazy. You'd think they'd at least take them inside and be like 'so is this your grandmum' - but no, nothing," he says.
He says the police have failed to communicate what's going on, and aren't doing everything to find the group.
"They rang at three o'clock in the morning and were very apologetic and they were going back to this property to, what we were told, grab the kids. And they were going to call us back," he says.
"We've been into the Upper Hutt police station four times today to the point where I think they're actually going to ban us from going in there."
He says the group may have been spotted early in the morning, and one of kids was "absolutely terrified" and trying to get away.
Mr Pullman says two of the group are "well-known for running away", but it's out of character for the others.
Police say two of the youths have been found.
"The group has been located by police today - one has been reunited with his family, one is at a police station awaiting pick up by a family member, and three members of the group are actively avoiding police. Enquiries to locate those three individuals are ongoing," a police spokesperson says.