Beloved family man shot dead while working

67-year-old George Charles Taiaroa was directing traffic at the Tirohanga bridge near Atiamuri when it's believed he was shot by a motorist. 

His body was still lying at the scene today as police locked down the surrounding communities.

Heeni Brown was at the scene for much of the day.

She reported 67-year-old George Taiaroa was married to Dr Helen Taiaroa, a respected member of the senior executive at Te Wānanga o Raukawa. 

The couple have four children and a number of grandchildren.

Friends of the victim say Dr Taiaroa is in Taupō with family dealing with the tragedy.

People who spoke to Te Kāea say workers on the big roading project had been living at the local pub and in houses hired by the construction firms.

Te Kāea visited the house where George was staying. One friend said George was a lovely guy who'd often bring the boys fish heads.

The body has been taken to Auckland for examination.This has been an unexpected and shocking event for everyone concerned.

The family would like to acknowledge the overwhelming support they have received.

This afternoon at a press conference, police released this statement: George Taiaroa was of Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe descent.

Reporter: Heeni Brown.