Police have identified the human remains discovered at Destruction Gully in Whatipu last week as a 42-year-old Manurewa man who went missing in June 2001.

Alexander James White was last seen on June 24, 2001. But police said they had eliminated foul play from his death and had referred the matter to the Auckland coroner.

A wide search was carried out for Mr White in mid-2001 and the police team hunting for him concluded at the time he might have been the victim of an accident while fishing on the Manukau Harbour.