An Australian man has been shot dead in a campervan in a random attack in New Zealand, before his killer stole the vehicle and drove it for an hour with his body inside.
Sean McKinnon, 33, was killed while sleeping in a campervan in Raglan, outside Hamilton, about 3am on Friday. A manhunt for the gunman is under way.
"This is a tragic incident. Inquiries indicate that this was a random attack," Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley told reporters in Hamilton on Friday.
Mr McKinnon was sleeping in the campervan with his 32-year-old Canadian fiancee Bianca when the gunman fired a number of shots into the vehicle.
Police said she escaped and fled to a nearby property to raise the alarm, while the gunman stole the campervan with the dying Mr McKinnon inside.
Mr McKinnon was from southwest Victoria.
"Talented musician, genuine gentle man with a heart of gold," long-time friend Wayne Such told AAP.
Another friend Julian Smith told AAP Mr Mckinnon was a "lovable, knockabout Aussie guy" who loved his surfing.
"He loved to surf big waves down the coast. He charged five metre waves," Mr Smith said.
Raglan is a well-known surfing spot for big-wave surfers. Mr Mckinnon's campervan was parked in the Te Toto Gorge track carpark, not far from the water.
Police said Mr McKinnon's body was found in the stolen campervan, which was abandoned on Gordonton Road in Hamilton, about 80km away from the Raglan crime scene.
They want to hear from any witnesses who saw the campervan after the shooting - and Det Insp Pitkethley expects someone knows who killed Mr McKinnon.
"Due to the circumstances of the attack, it is likely that he has confided in members of his community," he said.
The gunman reportedly demanded the keys to the campervan before shooting Mr McKinnon "more than once".
Det Insp Pitkethley said police are working on the assumption the gunman is still armed, and all police in the Waikato area will be armed until further notice.
Raglan is a small town on New Zealand's west coast, south of Auckland.
Colin Chung from Colin's Cafe at nearby Whale Bay told AAP the area is a rocky coastline and provided some of the best surf in New Zealand, but it is off the beaten track for tourists.
He heard helicopters in the air about 6.30am but thought it might have been about a boat in trouble.
"It stayed in the air for a long time, maybe 45 minutes," he said.
Three tourists were shot at while surfing at nearby Te Maika point last year, while a fisherman was also allegedly fired upon in the area.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was providing consular assistance to Mr McKinnon's family.