The police dive squad may be called in to search for the body of a man swept out to sea at Ngunguru, north of Whangarei.
Shoan Mafileo, 20, was knocked off his feet by a wave and caught in a rip as he walked along the sandspit beach with friends on Monday.
His Niuean family and his friends have been keeping a vigil on the beach and a police search and rescue team has been scouring the coastline.
Sergeant Neil Pennington says if sea conditions improve, police divers could be brought in to search the rocky reef at the south end of the spit.
Mr Pennington says some of Mr Mafileo's family are travelling from Auckland daily to take part in the search, while others are staying at the Ngunguru marae.