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