Police believe the man who went missing off Auckland's waterfront early on Monday has drowned.

They have named the man as James Harley David Jenkins, 24, of Auckland.

Jenkins entered the water near the ferry terminal early on Monday morning. The Police Dive Squad spent two days searching the area but did not find him, Auckland City Police Detective Senior Sergeant John De Heer said.

"Given the length of time that he has been in the water, police do not believe he could have survived," De Heer said.

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Inquiries are still being made into the incident.

Police had spoken to the Coroner and informed Jenkins' next of kin before releasing the name.

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family at this difficult time. Our inquiries are ongoing to establish what has caused James to enter the water.

"We are still hoping to speak with two men who were seen talking to him before he has gone into the water and ask them to contact police immediately."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Auckland City Crime Squad on (09) 302 6557 or anonymously to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.