Gulf Harbour body: Fisherman describes moment he pulled human remains from water

A photo from the scene.
A photo from the scene. Photo credit: Newshub

A fisherman has described the moment he pulled a bag of human remains out of Auckland's Gulf Harbour on Tuesday.

Paul Middleton said he was in the Whangaparaoa area to do some fishing, trying to catch some decent-sized kahawai or snapper.

He had gone to Army Bay this morning, but had not found much fish so he came back around the ferry terminal.

"I [threw] my lure out ... and nothing much was happening but there was a bag out there."

He said at the time he did not know it was a bag, and thought it was a log or a dead animal.

"Anyway the wind changed, brought it in to the coast. I think yeah, anything floating in the water bring fish around, so I'm targeting it. I got that perfect shot, like millimetres to the side of it. Just hooked it. Just hooked it."

He pulled it into the shore - it was heavy but easy to move - and managed to pull it up the rocks a little.

"Took the hook out and thought 'Right, let's see if it's a bag of rubbish and I need to dump it in a rubbish bin or something'."

He struggled through "layer and layer" of plastic to open the bag and "lo and behold, a hand appears".

He said it looked "like a Halloween-type hand".

It was at that point that he called police.

Police earlier confirmed that a body had been found in the water near Laurie Southwick Parade on Tuesday afternoon.

They were treating the death as unexplained and the area was cordoned off while officers made enquiries in the nearby area, they said.

There was no immediate risk to the public in relation to this death, said police.