Police to halt the hunt for missing teenager

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 08:51 22/06/2013

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Police have called off their search for a missing Bell Block youth.

An extensive search of less frequented areas of New Plymouth by Taranaki Land Search and Rescue volunteers and police on Wednesday and yesterday has not found any trace of New Plymouth Boys' High student Nikolao Meafua, 16.

Niko has been missing for almost two weeks after he left his home following an argument with his mother.

Senior Sergeant Matt Prendergast said yesterday's fruitless full-day search was carried out by about 12 volunteers and concentrated on areas off the regular path.

The search included the Te Henui Walkway, Awanui Cemetery, high schools and the East End Reserve. In the morning, groups concentrated on the coastal walkway by the Fitzroy Golf Course through to the Waiongana Stream on the Waitara side of the airport and Bell Block's Mangati walkway.

"We haven't come across any sign of Niko," he said.

The searchers, who also checked out areas in much worse conditions on Wednesday, had done a sterling job, he said.

Mr Prendergast thanked both the volunteer searchers and their employers who had given them time off.

There were no further plans to search unless police received more information, Mr Prendergast said.

"We will now regroup and reassess and think what our next options are."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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