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Just before 3pm police were advised that a small boat had capsized near to Opua, Bay of Islands.
The three occupants had been thrown into the water at about 2pm.
Two occupants made their way to shore to raise the alarm.
A search and rescue operation was launched with assistance from Coastguard, National rescue centre and local police.
The two occupants assisted by locals had gone back onto the water and located the body of the missing person shortly afterwards.
Police will be reporting the matter to the coroner.
Next of kin have yet to be advised.
No further details will be available until 0900hrs Monday morning. Enquiries can then be made with the officer in charge of the Kerikeri police station