Missing man James Williams has been found safe and well in Wellington, police say.
It appeared the 27-year-old became lost while driving to work from Rotorua to Wellington on Thursday night, family spokeswoman Julie Hill said.
"We're just trying to sort out what actually happened," she said.
"We said he didn't have a very good sense of direction, and we were dead right."
Williams was last seen at Bulls where he was stopped by police for a traffic incident.
It seemed he had turned right at Sanson and ended up in the middle of nowhere, Hill said.
His car had cut out, and he had forgotten to take his cellphone with him.
"He was totally oblivious - he didn't know the whole country was looking for him," she said.
"He doesn't know 17 of his whanau are going to be converging on him in a minute."
The family wanted to thank those who joined a search party for him this morning and helped to find him by spreading word on Facebook.
"We really couldn't be happier and we really do appreciate all of the best wishes from social media and the media who publicised it," she said.
Police were currently speaking with Williams, a police central communications spokesman said.
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