Identifying a badly decomposed body found on West Coast beach could take at least another week, police say.
A human foot, and later the rest of the body, was found washed up on Rapahoe Beach north of Greymouth on Wednesday.
Police say there is a possibility it could be missing Christchurch man Kurt Green, who was last seen in the Blaketown beach area four weeks ago.
Mr Green's family has been notified of the grisly discovery, but police say they cannot confirm whether it is Mr Green until the body has been formally identified.
Police spokeswoman Barbara Dunn said forensic identification work could take at least a week.
"It's going to take a while for us to get the identification work done,'' she said.
"We don't know if this body is male or female or anything of that nature, so we can't jump to any conclusions about who it is at this stage.''
Mr Green travelled to Greymouth with friends on the day of the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival, and was last seen walking toward the beach the next day.
At the time, police described him as having "diminished mental capacity''.
- Additional reporting: Greymouth Star