Police have recovered a body from a rural bush area 20 minutes east of Kaitaia which they believe has been there for some time.
The body will be taken from the scene today and a post-mortem examination will be held in Auckland tomorrow.
Police have been searching the area since yesterday using cadaver dogs and a specialist search unit from Auckland.
They were searching as part of their investigation into the disappearance of gang member Kimble Moore.
Detective Senior Sergeant Rhys Johnston said Moore had been missing since March and last month police upgraded the investigation to a homicide.
A scene examination will continue at the site tomorrow, Johnston said.
"We believe the body may have been there for some time and it has been a methodical process to preserve any potential evidence. We have been assisted today by a pathologist and several scientists from ESR in Auckland."
Police said they would not be releasing any further details until they has identified the dead person, which they warned could take some time.