The body of a soldier missing for more than a week in a lake near Waiouru has been found by navy and police divers.
Linton solider Michael Ross' body was found on the bed of Lake Moawhanga at about 3pm today.
Search teams working in freezing cold and windy conditions used sonar equipment to find the body in the area where he went missing almost eight days ago during an army exercise, said Ruapehu area commander Inspector Steve Mastrovich.
Ross, 28, of Kaitaia, feel off an inflatable boat during the training exercise on the lake.
Royal New Zealand Navy and police dive teams were supported by Auckland Police Maritime Unit and New Zealand Defence Force using inflatable craft today.
"It is a relief for the team to have a positive outcome," Mastrovich said.
"It was a very hard and complex task for the divers as they tried to identify possible targets.''
Despite the conditions there had been no plan to scale back the search, he said.
Ross' family had been notified and his body was now at Waiouru Army Camp before being taken to Palmerston North for an autopsy.
If you had a choice, which would you prefer on Christmas day?Related story: Sun takes a Christmas holiday