Christchurch Police are urging people who are leaving the city to advise friends, family or neighbours that they have left and that there is no concern for their safety.
Superintendent Dave Cliff, Canterbury Police District Commander, said people may be ringing the missing persons lines, reporting people as missing when they are not. This diverts resources from the complex and time-consuming task of the search for missing people.
"If anyone previously reported as missing is found or makes contact with friends or family, Police ask that we are advised through the missing person lines."
The phone lines to call to report people missing - and to say that they are found - are:
New Zealand based calls: 0800 733 276
International calls: 0064 785 02199