A police investigation has been launched after a buried human skeleton was uncovered on a beach south of Auckland.

The skeleton was found at 8am on Saturday by a woman walking her dog on Sunset Beach in Port Waikato, police said.

Acting Crime Manager Inspector Gary Hill said an extremely high tide revealed the top of a human skull.

"A scene examination appears to show the body may have been buried, although police aren't ruling out other alternatives. It's understood the body has been there for a number of years"

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Mr Hill said a team including forensic scientists and detectives from Counties Manukau Major Crime Team were now investigating.

The body had been taken from the site and a post-mortem would be carried out tomorrow, he said.

- HERALD ONLINE