Police divers have found and recovered a body from Lake Rotoiti believed to be the person who went missing on the lake on Sunday.

Police said the body was recovered yesterday about 3pm off Gisborne Pt by members of their national dive squad who were called to the lake on Monday.

"[The body] is believed to be that of the person reported missing from a boat on the lake on Sunday afternoon," a police spokeswoman said.

She said a post-mortem examination would be done and the dead person's next of kin would be informed.


The circumstances around the death are still not known, along with details such as if the person was a man or woman, their age, where they were from, or what they were doing on the lake at the time.

The Rotorua Daily Post has tried several times each day since Sunday to get more information from police, but each time the police have said they will not be releasing more information at this stage.

It was the second death on the lake this year.

Last month Auckland man Colin McCormick drowned after he jumped from a boat into Lake Rotoiti near Otaramarae to retrieve his hat, which had blown off as he was heading to Manupirua Springs hot pools with his partner and 9-year-old son.

His body was found eight days later.

This week Water Safety New Zealand said the deaths of four people in preventable drowning incidents over Waitangi weekend reflected the challenges faced by the water-safety sector.

Since the beginning of December 31 people have drowned in preventable incidents.

This week's Lake Rotoiti incident is not included in that figure because the cause of the drowning is either not known or has not been revealed.


Water Safety chief executive Jonty Mills said a dramatic change was needed in Kiwis' attitudes and behaviour around water, and a shift in how water safety was perceived and funded.

"As a country, we have to ask ourselves whether it's okay to have one of the highest drowning death tolls in the developed world.

"If not, then we need to do something about it with every Kiwi taking personal responsibility."

Mr Mills said although industry surveys, campaigns and research showed water-safety messages were reaching their target audiences, behaviour was not changing.