The tramper who died after getting into difficulty crossing Hawke's Bay's Makaroro River has been named.

He was Edward John Hearnshaw, 43, of Wellington.

Hernshaw's body was found on Tuesday morning 500 metres downstream from where he attempted to cross the swollen river in the Ruahine Forest Park.

Hearnshaw was the Chief Economist in the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.


Commissioner Simon Upton said Hearnshaw's death is "a huge loss not just to the Office, but to the wider New Zealand economics community".

"Ed was a highly valued colleague who made a significant contribution to a wide range of environmental issues both in his time at the Ministry for the Environment and over the last two years in the office of the PCE," he said. "The entire team is shaken by his untimely death."

His death has been referred to the coroner.

Police said the body was located at 10am on Tuesday with assistance from a drone.

Eighteen Land Search and Rescue (SAR) staff were deployed in the field, as well as six more in communications and oversight functions.

Surf Life Saving provided an IRB and four people, while the rescue helicopter was also involved, along with a three-person drone crew from Fire and Emergency New Zealand and 10 police SAR staff.

High river levels and bad weather conditions on Monday evening meant the search in the Ruahine Forest Park had to be delayed until Tuesday morning.

The search resumed at 6am, near the bottom of Gold Creek Ridge Track in Ruahine Forest Park, where it and the Sparrowhawk Track meet the Makaroro River.