Family of missing man want second person in CCTV images to come forward

A CCTV image appears to show a second person may have been travelling with Joseph Ahuriri the day he was last seen.


A CCTV image appears to show a second person may have been travelling with Joseph Ahuriri the day he was last seen.

Images released by police appear to show another person standing beside Joseph Ahuriri as he refuelled his white Hilux the morning he went missing.

While a police spokesperson said no further information would be released, Mike Ahuriri told Stuff the family were aware there appeared to be another person travelling with his brother.

Family hoped the person would come forward, he said.

Police also refused to comment on whether they now thought Joseph Ahuriri’s disappearance was cyclone related after previously saying it was “unlikely”, which has infuriated his brother.

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“That’s what is pissed me off. It is definitely cyclone related.”

Mike Ahuriri said whānau were frustrated with police because they felt they were not getting any information, except what was printed in the media.

It’s now been a month since 40-year-old father of nine Joseph Ahuriri went missing the morning Cyclone Gabrielle hit.

He was seen leaving the Scenic Hotel Te Pania on Napier’s Marine Pde at 4.28am on February 14, as the cyclone ravaged Hawke’s Bay.

His white Toyota Hilux was later seen on a security camera in Havelock North at 5.15am. It’s not clear if he was in the truck at the time.

Now police have revealed their investigation into his disappearance has been extended into remote areas north of Bay View after a security camera recording at the Waitomo Fuel Stop at Bay View shows Ahuriri and his vehicle at 5.46am.

Police have widened the search for Ahuriri a month after he went missing.


Police have widened the search for Ahuriri a month after he went missing.

Dressed in a white top and dark pants, Ahuriri is seen leaning against the back of his truck as he refuels. A second image appears to show another person standing at the front right-hand side of the truck.

The footage also indicates that Ahuriri drove north towards Bay View village.

Hawke’s Bay police Inspector Martin James said the New Zealand Defence Force and USAR had carried out extensive searches over the past month, including around Whakatu, Clive, Esk Valley, along the Napier-Taupo Road, SH5 and SH2.

Many rural roads had also been searched.

Ahuriri’s truck still hasn’t been found.

Ahuriri’s truck still hasn’t been found.

James said canvassing security footage in the region had been complicated by power failures at the time of the cyclone.

Police had also interviewed several of Ahuriri’s friends and associates and had maintained regular contact with the family, he said.

He urged anyone with security camera footage on Seafield and Glengarry roads at that time to come forward if they had not already done so.


“He’s a part of me,” Mike Ahuriri says of his brother Joseph Ahuriri, who has been missing since Cyclone Gabrielle hit.

Mike Ahuriri said extended whānau would conduct another large search over the weekend now that more roads were open.

Joseph Ahuriri initially travelled to Hawke’s Bay from Gisborne to visit his Aunty, who has not heard or seen him since February 13.

“He hasn’t made contact or anything with his partner, me or my siblings and family which is unusual for him,” daughter Jah Cameron said. “His phone is going straight to answer phone, and we are trying our hardest not to worry.”