Police have identified the man whose body was found on the grounds of Katikati College earlier today.

It has been confirmed the body was that of an adult and not a young person as police originally reported.

Police Sergeant Scott Merritt confirmed the man's death was not related to an event held for students at the school the evening before.

The man's next of kin were being contacted and the death will be referred to the coroner.


Merritt said the police supported the school's decision to close for the day.

"We believe this was in the best interests of the students," he said.

Katikati College. Photo / File
Katikati College. Photo / File

The body was taken away in a hearse this morning.

The Katikati volunteer fire brigade were called in at 6.45am and cordoned off the entrance to the school field to keep students out.

"There are loads of access ways around the college, so brigade officers are stopping students at all the different gates," a brigade officer told a reporter at the scene.

IMPORTANT: School will be closed today. Please keep students at home if they are not on their way yet. All students...

Posted by Katikati College on Thursday, 16 May 2019

Neither parents who gathered at the school gates nor a spokesperson for Katikati College wanted to comment at this stage.

A Facebook post from the school said students were to stay at home if they were not on their way to school and students who did arrive would be supervised in the primary school hall.

A spokeswoman for Katikati Primary School said there were no college students on site earlier this morning.


A father of two boys who attend Katikati College said he was on his way to drop his eldest son off to school when he heard the news.

The father, who did not want to be named, said parents were emailed at 8.40am to say the school was closed due to "unforeseen circumstances".

He said he would spend today comforting both of his boys at home. "I am not sending them back to school until everything has settled," he said.

He planned to keep his boys busy for the day as a distraction from the sad news. "A busy mind is a better mind," he said.

Bunches of flowers left near Katikati College grounds. Photo / Leah Tebbutt
Bunches of flowers left near Katikati College grounds. Photo / Leah Tebbutt

A mother said her son went to the college. She said he and his year had their school social last night.

"I don't know if it is connected, but bloody hell, how scary. My boy is turning 14 this year."

Incident on school grounds overnight. The school is working with the police. All students that have arrived at school...

Posted by Katikati College on Thursday, 16 May 2019


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