Police cordoned off a 200m stretch of Westshore Beach in Napier this morning after a woman's body was discovered just after 9.30am.
Hawke's Bay CIB Detective Senior Sergeant Dave De Lange said there was nothing to indicate at this stage how the woman, who he described as middle-aged, had died.
He said a post mortem would take place to determine that.
Mr De Lange said the body was found by a group of men who arrived at a small surf club building and toilet block on a reserve area opposite the intersection of Charles St and James St at the southern end of the beach.
They contacted police and detectives cordoned off the immediate area.
The woman's body was taken away about an hour later.
A campervan parked up at the reserve was believed to have been linked to the woman.
It was removed by a tow truck about 12.30pm to be checked over.
Mr De Lange said the woman was found fully clothed but it appeared she may have been in the water. She had not been identified at this stage.