A man who died after the truck he was in went over the edge of a wharf was a well-known and loved person in his local community.

Morrell Mark McKenzie, 51, was the sole occupant of a truck which went over the edge of Bluff Wharf about 1:30pm on Thursday.

Two commercial divers from Bluff firm Osborn Engineering were in the water nearby when the incident happened. The divers swam over to the truck where they found Mr McKenzie trapped inside the submerged vehicle. Mr McKenzie died at the scene.

Osborn Engineering managing director Grey Russell, who was one of the divers at the scene, said Mr McKenzie was "a great Bluff guy" who would be sadly missed.


Mr McKenzie was the managing director of the McKenzie Marine & Mackraft company in Bluff.

"He was well-known because of the jetboating," Mr Russell said.

"I knew him very well.

"A lot of people's thoughts - in Bluff and in the jetboating community - will be with his family. He'll be sadly missed."

Mr Russell would not comment on his involvement at the scene. Local coastguard also assisted but declined to comment, saying it was a police matter.

Bluff Community Board chairman Raymond Fife said Mr McKenzie was a well-respected, well-liked local businessman.

"It's a sad day for Bluff," he said.

"He was born and raised in Bluff. He's lived in Bluff his whole life.


"He was involved in the community and his family is well-known. The thoughts of the community are with the family."

South Port chief executive Mark O'Connor said the company was "deeply saddened" by the incident and extended its condolences to his family and friends.

His death would "hit the township very hard", Mr O'Connor said.

The port would be working closely alongside the authorities investigating the incident, he said.

WorkSafe New Zealand and police are investigating the incident.

The McKenzie family has asked for privacy.