10 Jan 2013

Australian man's body found in Waikato River

5:05 pm on 10 January 2013

The body of an Australian man who went missing in the Waikato River has been found.

Mathew Slade, 21, of Melbourne got into trouble while swimming in the Full James Rapid area in Taupo on Wednesday night and disappeared.

The police national dive team located his body in the river close to where he was last seen at 2pm on Thursday.

Police say Mr Slade had travelled to New Zealand in December last year and was planning to stay in the country until March riding and training ponies for the World Championships of the Equestrian Mounted Games.

They say he had previously represented Australia in equestrian events and was intending to compete this weekend in a pairs event.

Acting area commander Tony Jeurissen says Mr Slade's parents arrived in New Zealand on Thursday morning are distraught.

Police and the Australian High Commission are offering support.