A body believed to be that of an Indian man missing for a month has been found in Gisborne.
The body was discovered by people walking along Kaiti Beach Road on Thursday night.
Police believe it is that of Amandeep Singh, 22, who was last seen on the night of 29 December. His car was found abandoned in a suburban street the following day.
Kris McGehan, communications manager for the Eastern District police, said is not known how long the body had been lying in the scrub, but it was reasonably well hidden in an area commonly used by walkers and joggers.
Ms McGehan would not say if there were signs of foul play, but a post-mortem would take place on Monday.
Police are appealing to the public for any information about Mr Singh's movements. A scene examination is underway and the case has been upgraded to a homicide.
Friend and flatmate Vivek Punj said on Friday that Mr Singh told him he was going to the Rhythm and Vines music festival in Gisborne on 29 December, but never returned home.
Mr Punj told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme that he was working as a contractor in kiwifruit orchards and came to Gisborne in September last year.
He said Mr Singh was happy when he left and didn't have any troubles with his friends.
"A really hard worker and a good person and really happy with his life. He worked with a couple of companies and was well known to the Indian community."
Vivek Punj said Mr Singh's mother and father are applying for visas to come to New Zealand. Other family intend to come from Australia to support them when they arrive.