The 60-year-old man found dead in the surf at Papamoa Beach last week was Paul Charles Schiphorst of Papamoa.

A fisherman found Mr Schiphorst shortly after 7am on April 27 after spotting a dog in the dunes and then seeing a body facedown about 2m out in the surf.

The dog was guarding its master, the fisherman said.

Mr Schiphorst's death has been referred to the coroner.

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Police said they wished to extend their sympathies to Mr Schiphorst's family and friends.