A community of people gathered on the shore as the search began on Friday morning. PHOTO/GIANINA SCHWANECKE

Two bodies found are believed to be that of a father and son who went missing while diving for paua near Mataikona on Friday morning.

The two bodies were found by the police national dive squad on Saturday evening off the Wairarapa coast near Mataikona.

Police search and rescue controller Sergeant Tony Matheson said formal identification had yet to take place.

He said police were working to support the family involved who were distraught at the loss of their loved ones.

Police thanked all those involved in the search on Friday and Saturday.