Emergency services in New Zealand are urgently searching a national park in a bid to find a missing hiker - believed to have links to south Essex. 

Stephanie Simpson, 32, is believed to have gone for a hike over the weekend and was reported missing at roughly 8.45am on Monday morning when she failed to keep an appointment.

It is believed that Stephanie is from Basildon and was a member of a running group in Southend before moving to New Zealend in November. 

The Fox Glacier Alpine cliff rescue team, a search dog and handler, and Wanaka LandSAR volunteers are all involved in finding her.

The search area, spanning around 24km, encompasses Fantail Falls to Mountt Brewster, the Brewster Hut and Mt Armstrong track, and also Makarora Valley.

A spokesperson for New Zealand Police said: "If anyone was on the track over the weekend who stayed in the Cameron Flat area on Friday and may have spoken to Stephanie, or anyone who may have seen her on the track from Fantail Falls to Mt Armstrong, or in Makarora Valley, please let Police know on 105."