17 May 2021

Body of diver missing off Māhia has been found

2:37 pm on 17 May 2021

After a diver's body was found this morning, a rāhui has been placed on the Māhia Peninsula in Hawke's Bay.

Helicopter generic

A helicopter was used in the search. Photo: 123RF

The diver was reported missing just after 4pm on Sunday.

Local boats assisting with the search found the diver's body about 9am on Monday.

Search and rescue staff, a rescue helicopter and the local fishing boats began searching on Sunday, and the Police National Dive Squad was on its way but did not arrive.

It is understood the diver was a man in his 20s.

This morning, police said a search plane had been stood down and boats had returned to shore.

The diver went missing near Kinikini (Long Point), on the western side of the peninsula, south of the Māhia township but north of the Rocket Lab launch site.

Hawke's Bay Rescue Helicopter Trust general manager Ian Wilmot said conditions last night were good with a gentle swell.

According to MetService, boating conditions today were poor and possibly dangerous, with a 1.5m swell.

This morning, a local Māori committee placed a rāhui on the collection of kaimoana along the western coast of the peninsula, from Kinikini to Ahuriri Point, the southern tip of the peninsula.

This means the collection of seafood is prohibited there until the day after the diver's burial.