The mother of a man killed by a single gunshot is appealing to whoever is responsible for her son's death to "do the right thing and give themselves up".

Jann Henry, speaking for the first time, said son Scott John Henry, 48, was a "loyal and caring son" and a "fun-loving" father to his children, Liam and Tayla.

"The kids absolutely adored their dad," his mother told the Herald.

"Scott basically raised them on his own since they were little and provided for them the best way he could.

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"They have been robbed of a father and they are devastated."

Detective Senior Sergeant John Wilson pictured taking part in the search of the Pureora Forest Park west of Taupo today. Photo / Alan Gibson
Detective Senior Sergeant John Wilson pictured taking part in the search of the Pureora Forest Park west of Taupo today. Photo / Alan Gibson

Henry was gunned down on a wintry evening on July 20.

His body was found by a family member at his Kinloch, Taupo, property on Whangamata Rd.

"The investigation is progressing well. We have been getting information from a lot of different sources which has given us a tight focus," said inquiry head Detective Senior Sergeant John Wilson from the Bay of Plenty CIB.

Wilson believes police were "closing in" on who killed Henry and believes there was more than one person involved.

Questioned whether Henry's death was drug or gang-related, Wilson said he was "keeping an open mind".

Today police and search and rescue specialists from the Bay of Plenty district searched an area of the Pureora Forest west of Taupo where they previously found items relating to the investigation.

About 20 people joined the search, but nothing was found.

Henry, born in Auckland, was the eldest of three children.

His father John was a bank manager and his mother taught food technology at Tokoroa Intermediate.

"He was adventurous right from the start and loved living in the fast lane," Jann Henry told the Herald.

Henry enjoyed the outdoors and loved to go hunting, fishing and duck shooting with his dad - from the "tip of the North Island to the bottom of Stewart Island".

Jann Henry said her son had a "good brain, but wasn't keen on school". Instead, he excelled in sport, especially rugby.

"He had a knack for that sort of thing," she said.

After Henry left school at the end of the sixth form he followed in his father's footsteps and became a bank teller - briefly - but he hated being "cooped up".

He eventually saved enough money to travel around Europe.

His mother said one of the jobs he "loved" was being an assistant game keeper on an estate in the highlands outside Aberdeen in Scotland.

Henry eventually came back to New Zealand and settled in Taupo where he worked at the Tokoroa cheese factory in the "environmental side" of production.

At that time he was also raising his two young children in Taupo.

After seven years of commuting between Taupo and Tokoroa, Henry quit his job and started his own business felling trees and selling firewood in Taupo.

But two years ago, Henry was seriously injured while chopping down a tree.

"He was felling a tree, as the old pine fell, Scott's feet slipped and the tree fell on top of him," his mother explained.

"He was in Auckland Hospital for six weeks. Just about everything from his neck to his hips was damaged in some way."

A year earlier Henry's father died of a brain tumour.

"Scott took his dad's death extremely hard but he was a great support to me," Jann Henry said.

Police personnel pictured taking part in the search of the Pureroa Forest Park west of Taupo today. Photo / Alan Gibson
Police personnel pictured taking part in the search of the Pureroa Forest Park west of Taupo today. Photo / Alan Gibson

"He 'd do anything for his brother and sister and make us all smile at the saddest of times."

The retired teacher was struggling to understand why anyone would want to harm her son.

"I was absolutely blown away when the police turned up," she said.

"I thought: 'Oh no, my grandchildren have been in a car accident'.

"I never thought someone would take his life - I know nothing will bring Scott back but no one has the right to take another person's life."

Henry's partner Kylie Hartley, with whom his mother is close, was too traumatised to talk about what's happened.

"She has been going through her own emotional trauma," said Jann Henry.

Five years ago - a week before Christmas - Hartley's son Jordan 11, was killed in a car crash.

Jordan, his father Richard Melling, 37, his partner Lisa Crowley, 23, and their children Brody, 2, and 3-week-old Dylan all died when their car crashed on a sweeping bend kilometres from their Whakamaru home.

"We are both trying to the best we can - but she's finding it doubly hard," Jann Henry said.

"We have both lost a son and we have both lost a partner- we have a lot of empathy for each other."

The grieving mother said she will never give up on finding out who killed her eldest son.

"My family has been torn apart if anybody knows what happened please come forward - even if it's your loved ones - tell them to go to the police," Jann Henry said.

"I am heartbroken - a part of me has been taken from me.

"It's not the order of things for a child to go before their parent, especially in such a violent way.

"That rankles me."