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New Zealand police are searching for a 12-year-old Auckland girl who went missing six days ago and is believed to be staying with a “much older” man who is not a member of her family.

On Thursday evening, police confirmed Maria Mino, 12, had made contact with her family. The family is still concerned about Maria’s welfare, police said.

The young girl was last seen at her home on Maugham Drive in Bucklands Beach, in east Auckland, on August 11.

“While we do not have immediate concerns for her safety, we are still concerned that she is in the company of persons much older than herself,” police said.

“She is believed to be associating with adults who are not immediate or wider whānau (extended family or community) members.”

Police urged members of the public to report any sightings or information about Maria’s whereabouts. It is believed she is most likely with an older male in west Auckland or in the Auckland CBD area.

A police spokesperson said the man lived at an address in the west Auckland suburb of Glen Eden. Police have been unable to contact him.

Police said Maria is a young girl who should be at home with her family.

“We would still like to speak with her,” a police spokesperson added.

Maria’s family have concerns for her welfare and have asked for any sightings of Maria to be reported to New Zealand’s emergency phone number, 111, police said.

Further information about Maria’s whereabouts can be submitted to police on the phone number 105, quoting file number 230812/5064. Information can also be provided anonymously via New Zealand Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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By Rahul

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