Attributable to Detective Sergeant Chris Lucy:
Southland Police actively investigating the disappearance of Otautau man Dale Watene continue to hold grave concerns for his safety.
The 40 year old, described as being of thin build and 183cm tall, was last seen in Otautau on the evening of Thursday 16 April.
Police continue to liaise closely with Mr Watene’s family, and have searched a number of areas of interest in Otautau and Tuatapere.
This Saturday 16 May, Police and LandSAR volunteers intend to conduct an intensive search of the Longwoods forestry area, in parts accessible by road.
Police are aware that with the country moving to Alert Level 2 at midnight tonight, there will be members of the public who will be looking to partake in hunting and tramping activities in the Longwood Forest.
We would prefer people to stay out of this area on Saturday, but would ask that those who do access the forest to please be extra vigilant for anything unusual, and to please notify Police straight away.
If anyone locates anything of interest, or has any information in relation to Mr Watene’s disappearance, please contact Invercargill Police on (03) 211 0400. Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.