Emergency services say too many swimmers are drowning at the beautiful but treacherous Maruia Falls, where a young woman lost her life yesterday.
It is believed the woman jumped from the top of the falls, off State Highway 65 in the upper South Island's Tasman District, but didn't resurface.
Search teams in rafts scoured the pool at the base of the falls and managed to find the body of the woman, aged in her 20s.
Murchison Volunteer Fire Brigade deputy chief John Hebberd said it was the third drowning he had been called to at the dangerous waterfall.
Despite warning signs warning not to swim there, the falls could appear to be relatively innocuous and swimmers often ignored them.
"The policeman I was talking to said it was the fifth [drowning he'd attended there] in five years so it's a regular one a year," he said.
Hebberd understood the woman was a New Zealander and was there with another person.
"As far as I know she just went in for a swim and it's a very dangerous place so it looks like the current has taken her under.
"It just keeps happening; the signs are there and everything but no-one seems to take any notice. The problem is it's got what looks like a still pool but it's got a current that just sucks them under."
The 10m Maruia Falls, on the Maruia River, is a "block" waterfall, where water descends from a relatively wide stream or river, according to the New Zealand Waterfalls website.
In 2011, 39-year-old Ian Oliver Randall died after slipping and falling down the waterfall after he and a friend jumped over a safety barrier to take a look. The friend grabbed hold of Randall's arm but couldn't hold on and he fell into the water below.
In 2014, Christchurch man Darryl Rolton, 54, died after jumping off the falls into a raging whirlpool to try to rescue his friend, Frank Otto. Otto survived.
The latest tragedy comes just two days after Water Safety New Zealand issued a warning for people to take extra care in the water this summer.
At that time there had been 82 preventable drownings so far this year - already 13 more than in the whole of 2016 - as Kiwis flocked to the water in their droves in the unusually hot weather.
"This is a particularly high risk period. Most Kiwis are out playing in the water in some way, shape or form," said the water safety group's chief executive Jonty Mills. "While all water-based activities carry some risk, much of this can be mitigated if basic water safety is followed."
Last year the holiday toll was 8, and for the last five years the average during this period, which is from December 22 to January 3, is 7 preventable drowning fatalities.
"Every one of these deaths is a tragedy for a family and a community," Mills said. "We want people to enjoy themselves, but also take a second to think about water safety."
Without knowing the specific details of this case, Mills added that waterfalls and rivers were often remote so it was important for people to be aware of local conditions and take heed of any warning signs.