The man's body was found about 3pm when a group stopp' />

Napier police are trying to identify a man found dead under a Hawke's Bay bridge yesterday.

The man's body was found about 3pm when a group stopped on the Mohaka Bridge on the Napier-Taupo Rd and saw the man lying on the riverbed a short distance away.

Detective Senior Sergeant Nick Reid of Napier CIB said the death was being treated as "unexplained" at this stage. Police were looking at all possibilities as to how the man died.

He had no facial injuries or any other marks on his body consistent with an assault.

Mr Reid said police had been unable to identify the man and asked anyone who recognised his description to contact them.

He was described as Maori, in his mid-30s, of muscular build and average height. His hair was shaven at the sides and his face was clean-shaven.

He had several distinctive tattoos including a silver fern and a koru design on his right arm, a lizard design in an unusual shade of aqua blue on his chest just above the right nipple. He also had a large tattoo on his back.

He was wearing a black long-sleeved top, black nylon shorts and running or walking shoes.

"Someone may know who this person is and we would like to confirm his identify as soon as possible," Mr Reid said.

Police also wanted to hear from anyone who was travelling in the Mohaka Bridge area who may have seen the man any time between Monday and Tuesday.

- NZPA