Fisheries & Fish Industry

Holiday horror: Family out fishing find woman's body

Holiday horror: Family out fishing find woman's body

A woman's body was found washed up on a private beach near Tangoio on New Year's Day. Photo / Paul Taylor
A woman’s body was found washed up on a private beach near Tangoio on New Year’s Day. Photo / Paul Taylor

Children were among a group of people who found a woman’s body washed up on a beach in Napier yesterday.

Police were called to a private beach near Tangoio at around 1.40pm on New Year’s Day.

The woman – who is yet to be identified – was found on a private beach known locally as Taits Beach; an isolated area of coast accessed via a remote road.

The land is managed by Forest Management NZ LTD.

Forest Manager Steve Bell, who manages the property, said a work colleague had found the woman’s body.

Police have described her as being aged between 20 and 40 years old, has long dark hair to her shoulders, is of medium build and about 165cm tall.

She was found wearing tight blue jeans and a black bra. She does not have any tattoos or obvious scars.

A police spokeswoman said they believed the woman was of Maori or Polynesian ethnicity.

Mr Bell said his colleague had been out fishing with his family – including children – when he found the body, and reported it to police.

His colleague seemed to be coping well after the incident, Mr Bell said, adding his colleague’s children had been at the scene, but seemed OK.

“Its not the normal thing you find when you go out for a day’s fish”, he said.

He would be checking in with the family today to make sure they were alright.

The owners of the property are American, and do not live there.

Police spent the afternoon at the beach yesterday making inquiries to identify the woman, and the circumstances surrounding the death.

They said she did not appear to have been in the water for any great length of time.

Located two kilometres from State Highway 2, Tangoio Beach is a small coastal settlement North of Napier between Waipatiki Beach and Whirinaki.

The Hastings District Council’s website, which details numerous beaches in the Hawke’s Bay area, presents Taits Beach as “Punakarau Beach” however a local said it was now known as “Kirikiri Beach”.

Most frequented in the summer months, the Tangoio area is popular for recreational activities including fishing, diving, walking and swimming.

Yesterday’s discovery closely follows the news of two bodies washing ashore on Auckland’s Muriwai Beach within one week of each other.

The first body was found on December 21 and has been speculated to be that of a 24-year-old swimmer who was reported missing on December 17.

Several days later on the morning of Christmas Eve a second body washed up on Muriwai Beach and was later identified as 66-year-old Michael John Bampton.

Police ask that anyone who has any female family or friends overdue or any information that could help identify the woman that they contact Hawke’s Bay Police on 06 831 0700 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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