Human remains have been found buried in a remote part of the central North Island this morning.
In response to Herald inquiries, a spokesperson confirmed police have been carrying out a land search in the southern Bay of Plenty area since the beginning of this week.
A team of officers have been searching an area around Rangipo Intake Road, off Desert Road in the central North Island, after police received information which led them to have "grave fears" for a person.
Police at the scene have this morning uncovered human remains buried at a site off Rangipo Intake Road.
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"The remains appear to have been in place for a period of time," the spokesperson said.
A scene guard is present and the process for getting the remains ready to remove off-site is not expected to be completed until tomorrow.
A post mortem will then take place and it is expected to be some time before the formal identification process is completed.
Until the remains have been formally identified, the spokesperson said police will not be speculating on the possible identity of the deceased.