Police are appealing for information on the movements of a Chinese man, as they investigate the discovery of human remains near Tongariro.
They want know whether Bao chang Wang, also known as Ricky Want, left New Zealand under a different identity in 2017. He is a Chinese national and New Zealand permanent resident.
His family believed the permanent New Zealand resident had travelled overseas that year, but he was not reported as missing in New Zealand.
Police have been searching a property in the Auckland suburb of Massey in relation to the case.
Anyone with information is asked to call 0508 RANGIPO (0508 726 447). Mandarin-speaking officers will be available to talk to members of the public wishing to speak with someone in Mandarin.
Information can also be made anonymously by phoning Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 - referencing "Ricky Wang".