17 Oct 2020

Deaths on Lake Taupō 'not suspicious'

5:34 pm on 17 October 2020

The mayor of Taupō says it is very sad that two people have died at the lakeside, but locals will be relieved it is not a homicide case.

Police at the scene in Lake Taupō where two bodies were discovered.

Police at the scene in Lake Taupō where two bodies were discovered. Photo: Hugo Cameron

Police announced earlier today that the deaths of the two people are not suspicious.

The bodies were located a short distance from the town centre near Mere Road on Friday morning, with police yet to confirm the people's identities.

A post mortem examination has been carried out.

Taupō Mayor David Trewavas with Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern during her election campaign on 10 September, 2020.

David Trewavas Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

It has not yet been revealed how they died but mayor David Trewavas said the outdoor conditions were not ideal at the time.

"Cold night mixed with water and one can only surmise what could have happened. Police were called to the site a bit earlier on in the evening - I don't know for what reason - but left the site and there were anecdotal noises through the night."

Trewavas is sending his condolences to the families of the two people who died.

In a statement police said witnesses had reported seeing people drinking in the area and someone screaming.

They have now said the deaths will be referred to the Coroner.

Police declined to be interviewed.

A rāhui has been placed at Taharepa Baths on the Lake Taupō waterfront by Ngāti Tūwharetoa following the deaths.

The rāhui - which will continue until 4pm on Monday - applies to all access and recreational activities in the area, including the lake foreshore reserve and the lake itself.

While the Great Lake Pathway remains open, the public toilets and carpark have been closed.