The family of the woman who died at Haumoana have spoken about their grief and gratitude, as details of the drowning emerge.
Police have named the woman as Amy Jenny Brown, 35, from Taupo.
Reports say two children were swimming in the lagoon, when one began to have difficulty swimming. Ms Brown had gone to the aid of the child, believed to be hers.
Both children were rescued and taken to hospital in a serious condition.
Ms Brown was found when the search for her body resumed early this morning.
In a statement made to police, Ms Brown's family said two women dived into the sea to save their "precious little ones", and thanked those at the scene who supported the family.
"We are eternally grateful to the two women who dived into the sea to rescue our precious little ones, and we would like to acknowledge their bravery and thank the group of people on the beach, who supported the family until emergency services arrived."
Ms Brown's family said she was a "loving mother and faithful friend, a partner, precious daughter, sister and beautiful niece and cousin".
"We are at a loss to understand how such a tragic event could happen from a beautiful family day at the beach. Our loss is overwhelming."