Police have recovered a car from the Wairoa River with a body inside.
A late-model Subaru Impreza was retrieved from the river about 2 pm after it veered off the road into the water last night.
Acting Senior Sergeant Cam Anderson said the wheels of the upside-down car could be seen in the river about 1 pm today, and a male occupant was found inside the vehicle located about 5 metres from the edge of the river.
Anderson said the cause of the crash was still being investigated and formal identification of the deceased was required and his next-of-kin informed before his name could be officially released.
The search resumed today after the car crashed into the Wairoa River off State Highway 29 about 7.40pm last night.
The police dive squad arrived on scene this morning to continue the search for the person believed to have been in the car when it crashed and became submerged.
A Bay of Plenty Times reporter at the scene said the car was retrieved from the river and loaded on to a Rowe Motors tow truck.
The NZ Transport Agency said earlier that the Tauranga-bound lane on State Highway 29 at Ruahihi, would be closed from 11am for several hours to allow access for recovery teams.
Traffic was down to a single lane with traffic management and speed restrictions in place.
Photos from the scene last night show emergency crews geared up to get into the water.
They were seen in an orange liferaft shining torches into the water.
Police officers could be seen on the road; while also shining lights towards the spot the car is thought to have been submerged.
Another person in the car at the time of the crash was rescued and taken to hospital with moderate injuries.
The Serious Crash Unit is investigating.
Traffic at the scene has been slowed to 30km/h this morning.
Wairoa hapū kaumātua Te Ruruanga Te Keeti said a rāhui (prohibition) would likely be put in place for the Wairoa River if a life had been lost there.
He said the hapū was still waiting on the call from officials to find out more before making that decision.