A 5-year-old boy has been found dead at Piha Beach near Auckland.

Police said they were called to a search for the missing child yesterdayafternoon.

Unfortunately the child was found deceased at the north end of the beach not long after. Police said the boy did not drown and his death appeared to be the result of a tragic accident.

A woman asked members on a Piha community board to keep an eye out for a 5-year-old boy earlier yesterday.

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"He ... will be very scared. Was seen in the sand dunes and on Whites track 70 mins ago. Search is being co-ordinated at United (surf club), if you know anything please let them know."

A man commented that the boy had "light blondie hair, yellow top or raincoat, red gumboots".

The New Zealand Lost Pet Register is one of the first to pay tribute to the boy.

"Our hearts are absolutely broken for Max and his family as the news is in that sadly his body has been found.

"We also want to give our condolences to the rescue teams and members of the public that were involved in the search and recovery of this beautiful young man. RIP sweet heart, you will never be forgotten."

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New Zealand Lost Pet Register
about 5 months ago

***PASSED OVER TO HEAVEN***

29.10.2016 - There has been a Give A Little Page set up in memory of Savva and all money donated will now go to Autism NZ. Originally it was to help the family cover the costs of his funeral but it has now been found out that ACC cover all of this. Here is the link for any of you that may want to donate - https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/savva

22.10.16 - Our hearts are absolutely broken Savva (we originally saw on the posts that Savva's name wa...s Max but learnt later that this was incorrect. We do apologize to the family for posting it wrong and we did not update to the name we have been given until the Police released it as at that stage not all next of kin have been notified yet) and his family as the news is in that sadly Savva's body has been found. Thank you so much to everyone that shared his post and tried to help his family. The team at NZLPR are all sending their heart felt condolences to his family and are lost for what to say and do at such a terrible time. We also want to give our condolences to the rescue teams and members of the public that were involved in the search and recovery of this beautiful young man. RIP sweet heart, you will never be forgotten <3 . I am so sorry no matter what verse or poem I find it does not fill the void I am feeling for this poor family, but I hope this goes part way to letting them know our hearts are with them now -

God made a sweet child
a child who never grew old
He made a smile of sunshine
He molded a heart of pure gold.

He made that child as close to an angel
as anyone ever could be
God made a Sweet Child
and He gave that dear child to me

Then God saw His wonderful creation
growing very tired and weak
so He wrapped the child in His loving arms
and said, “You my child I keep”

But now my Sweet Child is an angel
Free from hurt and pain
I’ll love you forever, until we meet again

So many times I have missed you
So many times I have cried
If all my love could have saved you
Sweet Child you never would have died.

We are moving this sweet boys post to our 'Rainbow Bridge" album. It does not feel right to just delete his post when there is such a showering of aroha and support being shown for him and his family. Also I love the thought that this young angel is now playing with our pets at Rainbow Bridge <3

MISSING - BOY - (NORTH PIHA) AUCKLAND

Anyone at Nth Piha please keep an eye out for a 5 year old boy called Max, he is autistic, has a language barrier and will be very scared. He has light blondie hair, yellow top or raincoat, red gumboots. Was seen in the sand dunes and on Whites track. Search is being co-ordinated at United, if you know anything please let them know. Xx. At the moment Police and United are in charge, doing a good job of a co-ordinated and controlled search. LANDSAR are coming down from Anawhata Rd.

Sorry everyone but we know this is not a lost pet BUT we could not ignore this young boy in trouble. With close to 30,000 members even if 10% of you from Auckland share this it could make a huge difference.

Link to Original Post - https://www.facebook.com/…/67917…/permalink/998044793637851/ - (Leanne)

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Piha Surf Life Saving Club said they weren't involved in the search and could not comment.

The matter will be referred to the Coroner.

Next of kin are still being notified.