A man has died after a boat capsized while crossing the notorious Hokianga bar in the Far North.

Police say the deceased was one of three men on board the boat when it flipped at the entrance to Hokianga Harbour, on the Far North's west coast, about 12.15pm yesterday.

The man's body was recovered after a search by Coastguard Hokianga, Coastguard Northland Air Patrol, Northland police Search and Rescue and several private vessels.

He was taken to Opononi wharf about 2pm, then to the South Hokianga War Memorial Hall across the road. A kaumatua was called in to bless the scene.


Police were yesterday working to contact his next of kin.

The two other men thrown from the boat were rescued by a passing boat and also taken to Opononi. They were treated by St John Ambulance medics and were reportedly in a moderate condition.

Conditions were believed to be relatively good at the harbour entrance yesterday but the bar has claimed many boats and lives over the years.

In January Hokianga Coastguard rescued a man, a woman and a dog when the motor of their 4m open boat wouldn't start just outside the bar. All three, the dog included, were wearing lifejackets.

In February 2018 four people were rescued after their 4.5m boat capsized while crossing the bar. All four were wearing lifejackets and one had a waterproof VHF radio so they were able to stay in contact with their rescuers.

In September 2017 two adults and two children were pulled from the harbour by Coastguard volunteers after their boat rolled.

Meanwhile, a woman who is presumed to have drowned after falling from a small boat near Matauri Bay on June 11 has not been found despite extensive air and coastal searches. She was Jana Marie Travers, 45, of Kaitaia.