An Auckland toddler has been reunited with her family after a 36-hour kidnapping ordeal.
Police say 17-month-old Alyssa Barker was taken from her home near Kaukapakapa, northwest of Auckland, at around 3pm on Friday by Skye Mason who had been living with the girl's family in the days leading up to their disappearance.
The pair were found after a woman who watched the television news last night recognised the woman and child who were staying with her as Mason and Alyssa Barker.
The woman then waited until they were asleep before calling police around 9.15pm and notifying them that the pair were at her Swanson address.
Police say Alyssa is well and doesn't seem to be suffering any ill-effects as a result of her 36-hour absence from her home.
She was reunited with her family. Mason, 27, is now in police custody.
Detective Inspector Stan Brown of Waitakere Police said he and his staff were delighted to be able to return Alyssa to her family and are very grateful to media for their support during what was a nervous search.
"This is one story that does not have a tragic end for a child and for that, we are very happy," he said.
Police began an extensive search for Mason in the suburb of Glen Eden after she was seen with Alyssa at a property there at about 10pm on Friday.
Brown said the passage of time, the overnight temperatures and the fact Mason was of no fixed abode was of great concern in regard to the welfare of Alyssa. Mason reportedly did not take any warm clothes for the toddler.
Police have confirmed Mason had a history of mental health issues.