A police team have recovered a body during a two-day search of bush in the Far North but are unable to say yet if it is missing gang member Kimble Moore.
Detective Senior Sergeant Rhys Johnston confirmed the body had been found today in a rural bush area 20 minutes east of Kaitaia yesterday.
"We believe the body may have been there for some time and it has been a methodical process to preserve any potential evidence," Mr Johnston said.
He said formal identification of the deceased would take some time and police would not be releasing any further details until that had been completed.
Earlier in the day police said the search was part of their investigation into the disappearance of gang member Kimble Moore.
During yesterday's intensive search a specialist team were helped by a pathologist, several scientists from ESR in Auckland and cadaver dogs.
Mr Johnston said the search of the area would continue today.
The body was taken from the scene yesterday and a post-mortem examination would be done in Auckland today.
Mr Moore had been missing since March and last month police upgraded the investigation to a homicide.
Mr Moore, 48, from Waipapakauri, was reported missing by his partner from a Taipa address early on Friday, March 18.
More than 20 police and volunteers searched an isolated area of bush northeast of Kaitaia in March for Mr Moore.
The search included 10 police officers from Whangarei's Search and Rescue group, a dog handler from Auckland with a cadaver dog trained to locate bodies, and 11 trained volunteers from Far North Search and Rescue.
They searched a 3km stretch of roadside as well as 21ha of native bush, pine and gum trees for any sign of Mr Moore.
He was last seen in the company of fellow Tribesmen gang member Rawden Yates, who was arrested on unrelated charges after a three-week manhunt.
Mr Moore's 57-year-old brother Gary is the subject of a second, unrelated homicide inquiry. His body was found at his home in Otara on July 31. Their father, Billy Moore, said the family was trying to stay strong in their time of need.
Their mother, Erana Moore (Ngati Kahu) told NZME that Kimble, the eldest of seven siblings, had moved to Kaitaia three years ago after a stint in prison, and had hoped to open a butchery in the Far North. He grew up in Mangere and was a butcher by trade, but had been involved with gangs since the age of 18.
The family had heard many stories about what had happened to her son, including he had been "cut up and put here and there," but there was no evidence that could prove where he was or who might be responsible.