Police working to identify the remains of a body found in a burnt-out car near Kaikoura believe they know who it may be and have informed family.
The car was discovered on Monday on the side of Kiwa Road, about 15km north of the town, and close to a popular surfing spot.
Investigators say formal identification of the body is likely to be difficult and time-consuming due to the intensity of the blaze.
Detective Inspector Geoff Jago said on Tuesday night it is likely to be someone who was camping at the location for the past few days.
Mr Jago said the body has been taken to Christchurch for a post-mortem and preliminary results are expected late on Wednesday.
A scene guard will remain in place overnight and police expect to complete their scene examination by Wednesday.
Police are unsure what caused the fire and want to speak to anyone with information about the vehicle.