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The Police Maritime Unit is heading to Great Barrier Island to meet the operators of a fishing boat that hauled up the plane in a net when trawling off the island's coast this morning.
The catch was reported to police at about 11.10am.
The Civil Aviation Authority and the New Zealand Rescue Centre have been notified.
Police, who have not released any details of the discovery, expect to be at Great Barrier Island by about 4pm today.
It's unclear what kind of plane it is or how long it's been at sea.
However, earlier this year a homemade bi-plane piloted by 53-year-old Dariosh Kraidy went missing near the area. An extensive aerial and sea search failed to find the plane or Mr Kraidy.
The Herald has received a tip that the plane discovered today contained a body.
At the time Mr Kraidy's plane disappeared his brother Deon, who lives in South Africa, described him as a ``very experienced``pilot who used to be a jet pilot in the South African air force.
Mr Kraidy had been a pilot for about 35 years, Deon said, and had lived in New Zealand for the past ``13 or 14'' years. He had represented New Zealand at the Precision Flying World Championships.
Mr Kraidy has a 21-year-old son in New Zealand and a 24-year-old daughter in Australia.
No distress beacon was been activated when the plane went missing.
Trawler operators Sanford declined to comment on the discovery, while Coastguard Northern Region also referred queries to the police.