Bay Of Plenty police say human remains found near Te Urewera National Park eight days ago are those of an adult male, most likely Maori.
A post mortem examination conducted in Auckland on Friday was unable to establish a cause of death.
Detective Sergeant John Wilson says ESR staff have taken samples of the remains to try to extract DNA and identify who the remains belong to.
He expects the results of those tests in the next few days.
Skeletal remains were found by a pair of hunters in a recently logged plantation forest about 10 km south-east of Murupara.
John Wilson says the bones may have lain there for some time, perhaps as long as decades.