Police have named the man believed missing after his kayak was found floating off Wellington's south coast on Sunday afternoon.
The kayak of Koyren Campbell, 22, was found near Tarakena Bay at 3.30pm on Sunday, with some freshly caught fish on board.
He was due to return to land about midday on Sunday, police said.
Searches were carried out on Monday around the outer limits of the Wellington Harbour and Palliser Bay.
The search involved about 50 people including LANDSar members, a Royal New Zealand Defence Force NH90 crew, the Wellington Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew, Wellington Coastguard, Police public safety staff, the Police Maritime Unit and Police National Dive Squad.
Police asked for members of the public who had been in the south coast area, including Eastbourne through to Wairarapa or along the Miramar/Seatoun coast, to be on the lookout for Campbell or any equipment or clothing that might belong to him.
They also wanted to hear from anyone who took photos of the Tarakena Bay area on Sunday.