Body found in Whitianga search for missing teen Lucas Cochrane

Lucas Cochrane went missing late on Saturday night (Supplied)
Lucas Cochrane went missing late on Saturday night (Supplied)

The family of 19-year-old Lucas Cochrane, whose body was found in Whitianga by police on Wednesday afternoon, say they're saddened but relieved.

"The immediate family of Luke Cochrane say with the deepest regret that we are saddened but relieved to have Luke returned to us," Mr Cochrane's father Dave Cochrane said in a statement.

"The people of Mercury Bay and local businesses - far too many to name - have humbled us with their overwhelming kindness and generosity in our moment of need.

"Police and Search and Rescue, along with family and friends and many volunteers who didn't even know Luke - we give you our heartfelt thanks for your love and support," he said.

Lucas' body was found in a waterway in Whitianga on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Cochrane went missing after an event on Saturday night at the Whitianga Fire Station. There was wild weather in the region over the weekend, and heavy rain hampered search efforts since Monday.

The death has now been referred to the coroner.