6 Dec 2018

Family concerned for missing British backpacker last seen in Auckland

10:12 am on 6 December 2018

The family of a British woman who has been missing in New Zealand for five days is "upset" and worried about her.

Grace Millane.

Grace Millane. Photo: Facebook / Michael Millane

Grace Millane, 22, from Essex, has not returned to her Auckland hostel nor been in contact with her family since Saturday.

Police said they have received a missing persons report and were making inquiries.

Her brother, Michael Millane, said Ms Millane's birthday was on Sunday and she had planned to FaceTime her mum.

He said the family began getting worried on Monday when she didn't reply to messages.

"We sort of noticed Gracie hadn't really texted back or hadn't read anything, which was obviously really strange because it was her birthday," he said.

"We thought maybe it's just the time zone, sort of catching up, but we looked into it and realised her messages hadn't been read or delivered."

Mr Millane said she's always in contact with her family.

"It's really out of her character not to talk to us. We chat as a family on WhatsApp probably every day, not necessarily about what Gracie's up to, but just general chit-chat and everyone would be involved.

"It would be every day that we actually had the contact, but obviously sometimes she would be doing activities and wouldn't respond for a couple of hours."

Ms Millane, who graduated from the University of Lincoln in September, first spent time in South America, before making her way to Auckland by herself.

She picked New Zealand, because "she wanted to travel the world," Mr Millane said.

Her itinerary had been pretty fluid, with her extending her stay in Auckland until 8 December.

Mr Millane has been in touch with the backpackers where his sister was staying, and was told her things were still there, but she hadn't returned.

He said the hostel has been helpful providing the police with CCTV footage.

Mr Millane said his parents were worried. His dad is on his way to New Zealand to search for his sister.

"They are upset. They just want Gracie back. They just want to know she's safe," he said.