Man killed in rare New Zealand shark attack

A man has been killed in a rare shark attack at a popular New Zealand beach near Auckland.

The victim was a married man in his forties and had been swimming around 200 metres offshore when the fatal attack happened, according to New Zealand media reports.

A picture of the shark believed to have been involved in the attack. Credit: / AP

Police estimate that the shark, which experts suggest was likely to be a great white shark, was up to four metres long. Police also confirmed that there were at least two sharks in the water at the time.

Shark attacks are rare in New Zealand, with only 11 fatal attacks having taken place since records began in 1847, New Zealand programme TNVZ reported.

Helicopter searches for the shark will continue on Wednesday night and Thursday.