Police can now advise that five people are uncontactable in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle.
The updated figure includes one report which was made after a media release was issued this morning.
Police are still in the early stages of assessing that report.
“Police have made significant enquiries to locate the remaining four uncontactable people, one from Tairāwhiti and three from Hawke’s Bay,” Eastern District Commander Superintendent Jeanette Park says.
“While we have been unable to do so previously, we can now confirm that we do not have serious concerns for their welfare.”
Of the four, three are on active charges and, of these, two are wanted to arrest for breaching their bail conditions prior to the cyclone. Police believe there may be a reluctance for these individuals to engage, however our enquiries continue. The fourth person has not resided at their listed address for several years but enquiries are also continuing.
“This has been a mammoth effort by more than 100 Police staff, who worked on matching and verifying people reported as uncontactable, with those reported safe or found,” Superintendent Park says.
“Additionally, more than 70 officers conducted visits at homes, alternative accommodation, evacuation centres and other locations.”
In addition to these five people, Police are also making enquiries into the whereabouts of Joseph Ahuriri, aged 40, from Gisborne.
Joseph was previously reported uncontactable, and is currently being treated as a missing person. While Joseph has had no contact with family or Police since the cyclone, enquiries to date suggest it is unlikely that his disappearance is cyclone-related, although this cannot be fully ruled out. Police are continuing to make enquiries with family and associates to establish his exact movements and current whereabouts.
We urge Joseph, or anyone who has seen him since 13/14 February, to please get in touch with Police so we can let his family know he is safe.
Given the significant reduction in the number of people reported uncontactable, Police has today removed the online form from the website.
Anyone with ongoing concerns about uncontactable people is asked to contact Police in the usual way – either via 105, or by visiting your local police station or reaching out to an officer in the community.
Issued by the Police Media Centre