Wednesday, 15 September 2021 - 4:43pm |

Update: Search and rescue operation in Marokopa and Kiritehere, Waikato District

2 min read

Further ground-based coastline searches were conducted today in the Marokopa and Kiritehere areas.

Due to unfavourable weather conditions, an air search could not be conducted.

A team from the Raglan Surf Life Saving Club using inflatable rescue boats and a jetski, began a shoreline search this afternoon.

It is hoped the conditions will allow them to be utilised further tomorrow.


A message from the Phillips family:

Tom and his three children, Jayda, Maverick and Ember were last seen by the family late Saturday afternoon at the farm.

There was no "Family gathering" or "Party" or "Occasion".

Although Tom lived in Otorohanga, he and the children visited the farm often to spend time with their cousins and grandparents. Tom loved to whitebait with his children.

There was no noticeable change in Tom's behaviour observed by the family.

Tom's family were advised on Monday morning that Tom's vehicle had been found on Kiritehere Beach and had moved away from the incoming tide late on Sunday afternoon.

We immediately contacted the authorities, as this was out of character.

Because of where the vehicle was found we are understandably very anxious and fearful for the safety of Tom and the children.

It is possible that they were all swept off the beach as the sea was particularly wild over the weekend.

We are hopeful that Tom has taken the children camping and that they are safe somewhere. There is no knowledge that he had plans to do this.

The Family thank the Police and SAR's for their dedication to finding Tom and the children and bringing them home.

The local community have been extremely supportive and the family expresses their gratitude.

At this time, we would respectfully ask for privacy.


A message from the children's mother:

We are holding out every hope that my children Jayda, Maverick and Ember are safe.

This is an incredibly difficult time for both myself and our wider family.

We are just asking that anyone who might have any information, no matter how small or insignificant they think it might be,to contact Police and tell them.

We want to thank everyone who has reached out to us and offered support.

We also want to pass our gratitude and thanks on to the people who are out searching.It is so greatly appreciated.


Issued by Police Media Centre