Police have released the name of the 32-year-old Lower Hutt man found dead near his crashed car on Paekakariki Hill Road, north of Wellington.
Police are treating Matthew Stevens' death as suspicious because of the nature of his injuries.
A post-mortem is being held this afternoon and scene examination will continue on the road for several days, although it is open to normal traffic.
Mr Steven's body was found with a white Toyota Corolla that had crashed in difficult terrain and was precariously balanced after coming off the winding road north of Wellington.
Inspector Paul Basham said the man's injuries were inconsistent with him being in a car crash.
He said the post-mortem would help them decide whether to treat the death as a homicide.
"At this stage we believe that the injuries in connection with that person are inconsistent with a vehicle crash and as such we're treating the death as suspicious at this point."
The crashed vehicle has been removed.