A rough sleeper and known user of synthetic drugs was found dead outside a central city shop in Napier early this morning.
A police spokesperson said he was found outside on Wellesley Road by emergency services at about 6.30 am.
"The man was known to be a user of synthetic drugs.
"However, the official cause of death will be determined by the Coroner,"
A friend of the man, who did not want to be named, told RNZ he consumed synthetic drugs shortly before he died.
The death of a 55-year-old man in Maraenui, Napier, in August was believed to be linked to synthetic cannabis, prompting the Hawke's Bay police to issue a warning that a new batch of synthetics was causing "severe reactions" among users.
Provisional figures from the coroner show between 40-45 people died from synthetic cannabis in the year since last June.
In the previous five years there were just two deaths.