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Police are trying to reach the body of a hunter believed to have been fatally shot by another hunter near Rotorua this morning.
The body is located in a remote bush area off the Te Kopia Road in the Waikete Valley, around 30km south of Rotorua.
Police were alerted just before 8.00 am this morning.
Members of the Armed Offenders Squad who were returning from an unrelated matter were diverted to the scene. They met the hunter who had reported the shooting. This individual - a local man in his 30's - told Police he had mistakenly shot a friend he had been hunting with.
He is in a very distressed state but is assisting Police staff with the investigation.
A rescue helicopter is at the scene along with medical staff. Police Search and Rescue staff are still trying to locate the other hunter.
The investigation is being led by Rotorua CIB.
"The challenging location means it will be some time before we can piece together exactly what happened." says Inspector Bruce Horne, Rotorua Area Commander.
"However, based on the information we have at this stage, it appears that the shooting was accidental; and another tragic reminder of the absolute necessity for hunters to properly identify their target before they shoot."