The body of a man pulled from a Wellington bay has been confirmed as that of Joseph Nansen, a reported Nomads gang member.

Nansen's death remains unexplained and police are on the hunt for a dark or black backpack believed to have belonged to the 45-year-old.

His body was found in the water at Evans Bay on Tuesday.

"Police believe the last known sighting of Mr Nansen is the image of a man on a CCTV camera in the area of the Evans Bay yacht club around 11pm on Saturday, May 2," Detective Senior Sergeant Barry Bysouth said.

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The man in the footage was close to where Nansen's body was located and was carrying a backpack that hasn't been found.

"Recovery of this backpack is significant to the investigation, and police would ask anyone who may have picked it up, or if anyone sees a dark backpack discarded in the area, to please contact police," Bysouth said.

"We are also looking for a number of items of clothing - a light-coloured hoodie, dark leather (or similar) jacket, dark trousers, and dark shoes with white or light-coloured soles.

"If you find any items of interest, please get in touch with police on 105."

Media outlet Stuff reported Nansen was a Nomads gang member and found in the water with only his underwear on - two factors that have raised red flags.

"The investigation into Mr Nansen's death continues, and remains unexplained at this time," Bysouth said.