The victim in the Raglan camper van fatal shooting overnight has been identified as 33-year-old Victorian man Sean McKinnon.
McKinnon and his 32-year-old Canadian fiancee were asleep in their camper van at the Te Toto Gorge car park in Raglan when they were woken by a stranger banging on the window in the early hours of Friday morning.
It is understood the stranger demanded the key to the couple's campervan. McKinnon, who was visiting from Victoria, was then shot more than once.
McKinnon, 33, grew up around Warrnambool in Victoria's southwest, The Age has reported.
McKinnon and his partner got engaged around Christmas time in 2017, according to their social media.
McKinnon's friend Olivia Haig described it as "a situation too unreal to comprehend".
"Our hearts are with Bianca, the family and each other as we attempt to cope and comprehend what a cruel world this can be," she wrote.
Her friend, who was affectionately known as Mackerel, will be "forever 33, forever free", she said.
Another friend, Andy Clements, said the awful news was "a hard pill to swallow", adding: "It's a surreal, tragic story you don't think will ever be linked with your own community."
Julian Smith, another friend, told AAP he was "a loveable, knockabout Aussie guy" who "loved his surfing".
Suspect 'known' to members of the community
Waikato Police have revealed the male suspect they are hunting after the Australian tourist was killed will be "known" to members of his community.
Police have launched a homicide investigation this morning following the discovery of a man's body at around 8am inside a van in Gordonton.
Two occupants, a 33-year-old male Australian tourist and 32-year-old Canadian woman, were shot at inside their campervan parked on Whaanga Rd, Raglan, in the early hours of this morning.
Speaking at Hamilton Central Police station Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley said the sole male offender has fired a number of shots into the vehicle in what was a "random attack".
The male Australian tourist was injured in the shooting.
Pitkethley confirmed the murdered tourist's Canadian female partner, 32, managed to escape the gunman and ran several kilometres to find help - making a call to alert police at 3.20am today.
At approximately 8am, the vehicle was located on Puke Road near the intersection of Gordonton Road, Gordonton, with the body of the Australian male victim.
"Police are working through a number of leads in terms of people of interest, but again I appeal to the public that they will know who is involved in this incident, and for them to come forward and contact police as soon as possible," Pitkethley said.
"Due to the circumstance of the attack it is likely he has confided in members of his community."
Pitkethley also said they have not recovered any firearms involved in the attack.
A General Arming Order will see all Waikato Police officers carrying firearms while the manhunt continues.
In particular, police are asking members of the community to report suspicious behaviour they may have noticed around 2am today between Raglan and Gordonton - 80km apart.
"We are working through with a number of people who have contacted police with information," Pitkethley said.
"It is concerning to have an armed offender outstanding but I want to reassure the public we are working hard to identify and locate the offender. It is our absolute priority."
Pitkethley said forensic examinations of the two crime scenes, as well as examinations of the victims will continue until tomorrow.
"We are supporting the female victim who is understandably very shocked and distressed, providing her with the support and welfare she needs," Pitkethley said.
"This is a tragic incident. Inquiries indicate this was a random attack."
Police said they are still determining if the female victim sustained any injuries.
There was nothing to indicate that drugs or alcohol were relevant to the fatal shooting at this early stage.
Police would also not indicate whether a second vehicle had been used by the suspect after he deserted the white Toyota campervan in Gordonton, 80km from Raglan.
The stolen campervan was a White 2017 Toyota Hiace ZL with registration KWF362.
Police were attempting to contact the Australian tourist's relatives. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs told the Herald they have been in contact with the family of the deceased man.
"The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance, in accordance with the Consular Services Charter, to the family of an Australian man who died in New Zealand. Owing to our privacy obligations we will not provide further comment," a DFAT spokesperson said.
Stacey Davis, executive general manager for rental operations in Australia and New Zealand at Apollo Motorhome, said Apollo was aware one of its rental camper vans was involved.
"We're aware of the incident that involved one of our campers in Waikato," she said.
"We are co-operating with the authorities as the investigation continues and our thoughts are with the family at this time."
Police urge anyone with sightings of the white Toyota van, or anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the Raglan or Gordonton areas during this period to contact Waikato Police on (07) 858 6200 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.