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Louis Solofua, 59, of Christchurch, was reported overdue about noon on Saturday when he was expected to return a couple of hours earlier.
Police intend to conduct a further aerial search of the lake tomorrow, supported by the North Canterbury Coastguard.
Police said on Monday night due to the amount of time that had passed, they believe they are now searching for a body.
“While no one was with him at the time, police believe he has come out of his kayak, which has then been pushed away by the prevailing wind.”
No formal searches were conducted on Monday but aerial and water-based searches resumed on Tuesday.