The body found on Auckland's Takapuna beach on Tuesday has been identified as a man who went missing earlier this month.
Stephen Kapeli, 26, was reported missing on April 5.
Mr Kapeli's family issued a statement on Wednesday expressing their heartache at the discovery.
"We are heartbroken and devastated by the loss of Stephen, he was such a loving, warm and gentle soul and he meant the world to us," they said.
"Life has been full of many challenges for Stephen after being diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder and we are in admiration of how he overcame many of the situations he was faced with. He touched the hearts of all who knew him."
His family described him as an intelligent, warm, funny and empathetic person.
"We have so many wonderful and special memories of Stephen and he will leave an irreplaceable hole in our hearts.
"There are no words to express how much we will miss our boy - Stephen will remain in our hearts forever."
The body was found shortly after 5am and the beach was quickly opened back up to the public after a scene examination was complete.