A kayaker died during trip to collect kaimoana in Bay of Plenty this afternoon, police say.

Emergency services were called to Opape Beach, east of Opotiki, about 1pm and treated the man at the scene but he could not be revived.

Senior Sergeant Steve Shaw said in a statement that the 47-year-old Opotiki man may have suffered a medical event.

The matter had now been referred to the coroner.

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"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time," he said.

Police earlier said they'd received reports the man had hit his head on rocks.