Post-mortem results are expected today on the 53-year-old duck shooter killed on opening day at Waiuku, south of Auckland.
The man died of a gunshot wound on a rural property just before 6pm on Saturday.
Police say it appears to be a tragic accident.
Police have not indicated yet whether they are considering laying charges against anyone.
Police say there were also several complaints about "wayward" shooting on the first day of the duck shooting season. They said it was a timely reminder of the importance of firearm safety when people are out hunting.
And Fish and Game chief Bryce Johnson said the responsibility for sensible firearms use lies with the hunter. He said he was devastated to hear of the death when so much time is spent educating hunters about safety.
He said people need to identify their target, check the firing zone, and only load when they are ready to fire.
The Mountain Safety Council also said it is a tragic way to start the season. Firearms and hunter training manager Mike Spray said four people were injured last year with the injuries ranging from minor to serious.
He said the death is a timely reminder for hunters to comply with the seven basic rules of firearms safety .
Meanwhile, the animal advocacy group Safe says the incidents highlight that duck shooting is far too dangerous to be promoted as fun and sporting.
Safe says it is deplorable that Fish and Game is this year actively promoting their sport as fun and exciting to young children.
"It is ludicrous that Fish and Game are encouraging young children, some of whom could barely write their name, to hold and fire a shotgun. To place children in what is tantamount to a war zone, where 40,000 shooters are blasting at whatever moves, is reckless and irresponsible. No matter how many rules are put in place, the sad fact remains that loaded guns in the hands of over-zealous amateurs is a recipe for disaster," says campaign director Eliot Pryor.
Safe estimates duck shooters shot more than 200,000 ducks, geese and swans over the weekend, with as many as one-third injured.