The funeral for ‘Episami Pasiaka will be held today.
His body was recovered off a coast in West Auckland on Monday.
He was also known as Sam Leka Pasiaka.
The 16-year-old from Avondale, was earlier reported missing from Whatipu Beach on December 29, 2018
He became trapped in a rip, along with his sister, while searching for mussels.
His body was found north of Piha beach on Monday evening, bringing an end to a 10-day search.
His death will be referred to the Coroner.
Police extend their sympathies to Episami’s family at this difficult time.
“We would also like to extend our appreciation to all those who were involved in the search for Episami,” says Inspector Gerry Whitley.
Pasiaka was a student at Avondale College and was active in various church, cultural and sports groups.
Avondale College acting principal Lyndy Watkinson said the whole school community was greatly saddened by his death, according to a report by Stuff.
“He was a well-liked, valued and respected young man, who was fully involved in the life of the college,” she said.
“He was a successful scholar who recently achieved his NCEA Level 1 certificate with a Merit endorsement.
“We send our deepest condolences to the Pasiaka family.”
The teenager had also been a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints.
In 2017 he attended a conference run by the church for youth, and the community paid tribute to him on Facebook.
“When the news of Leka’s death was relayed to the youth yesterday, they gathered with their counsellors to remember and cherish the memories of their brother.
“We love you Leka, rest in love,” the post read.
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