A 29-year-old man who died after getting into trouble in the water at Kaiate Falls on New Year's Day has been identified by police.

The man has been named as Quincy Anthony Gaskin from the Omanawa area of Western Bay of Plenty.

In Saturday's Bay of Plenty Times, a friend of the deceased man, who did not want to be identified, told the paper the friends had gone down to the falls for a swim to freshen up on New Year's Day.

He said his friend had been sitting in the water, "about waist deep - happily laughing".


"He went out to the edge and it [the water level] got up to his chest and then he could no longer feel the bottom.

"He started panicking, I was telling him to keep calm and tread water and ... when I realised he was in a bit of shit, I jumped in and tried to pull him back into shore."

The two men then started CPR on their friend before others arrived and tried to help them, he said.

The man said he had met the deceased man on the rugby field about a year ago, and they had gone to the falls as he had never visited the area before.

"He was just a true, honest guy and would help anyone in trouble if he could help them."

The deceased man had not been a strong swimmer, he said.