‘A very cold night in the bush’

Two men who went missing in Upper Hutt’s Akatarawa Forest last night have now been found.

Tracy Petterson, a family member of one of the men, told 1News this morning she “isn’t quite sure” where the men are but they have received conformation they’ve been found.

“We have spent the night searching for them in the Akatarawa, it’s been a long cold night, they’re very experienced riders, men in their late 50s, early 60s, and we’ve just had confirmation that somebody has found them.

“We’re not sure what the situation is at this point.”

Petterson said the pair “spent a very cold night in the bush” and thanked emergency services and search and rescue for their efforts.

“I’m really relieved, we’re a close family.”

“This is an outstanding outcome,” she said.

Police said the men were found “safe and well” about 9.30am this morning after an “extensive land search”. They had been assessed by St John Ambulance staff and were uninjured.

The pair failed to return from an off-road motorcycle ride yesterday, a police spokesperson earlier said.

Police were called about 9.40pm after the pair failed to return at the expected time of 5pm.

“The pair’s 4WD vehicles were located at the entrance,” police said.

“Search and rescue teams were deployed in the area last night.”

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