A 2-year-old girl and her puppy who went missing in sprawling Motueka bush has been found safe by rescuers.
Police and search and rescue teams scoured the bush for more than five hours after the toddler went missing in Brooklyn, Motueka, north-west of Nelson, about 4pm on Wednesday.
Police were called just after 6pm, and they made a public appeal for help three and a half hours later.
Search and rescue officials at a cordon near the scene said she was found by searchers safe. It is understood she was found up in the hills, near an airstrip.
The girl’s grandfather said the child was “fine”. 
“She walked a long way, she is sitting in the car and she is warm and happy. We are just waiting now for the ambulance to come and check her out,” he said.
Acting Senior Sergeant Nigel McMorran said the child and her puppy were found about 11.20pm. 
“The excellent result follows …
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