Party snaps taken by New Year revellers could hold the key to the police investigation into the vicious stabbing which left a man fighting for his life.
A 64-year-old ex-pat New Zealander, who was on holiday from Queensland, was attacked at a Waihi Beach property about 1am on New Year's Day as he investigated noises outside the caravan he and his wife were staying in. He suffered stab wounds to his neck and head and was flown to Waikato Hospital where he remains in a critical condition in intensive care.
Eastern Waikato Area Commander Inspector Dana McDonald said police had received a great response to their initial plea for information, but more was needed.
"People often take snaps of New Year's Eve revellers and then think nothing more of them. What we are after is images of people in and around Beach, Hinemoa and Ocean View Roads, the [Waihi Beach] surf club, camping ground and The Esplanade between 12.30am and 1.30am.
"During that time lines of police were ushering large numbers of people out of the area, trying to encourage them to go home and we feel there may be dozens of potentially very useful images out there," Mr McDonald said.
Police were yesterday stationed on the major routes out of Waihi Beach, speaking to motorists as they left the popular holiday destination.
Mr McDonald said police had not yet identified any suspects and were still piecing together an accurate description of the attacker. "It's a jigsaw at this stage of the inquiry."
The scene examination was completed yesterday but the property remained under police guard in the afternoon.
Police believed the victim had been stabbed but the weapon had not yet been found.
"We still can't confirm whether it was a knife that was used ... we've scoured the area looking for some sort of stabbing equipment," Mr McDonald said.
His appeal was not just to the public but to the offender and any associates. "By now the seriousness of the situation has more than likely become apparent to anyone involved. Our advice to that person, or those persons involved, is that the situation is not going to get any better without them making contact with us."
Meanwhile, Tauranga police are continuing their investigation into a brutal attack on a man on Marine Parade in Mount Maunganui, between Banks Ave and Grove Ave, about 11.30pm on New Year's Eve. A man was seen stomping on the head of a victim numerous times and was caught soon after the attack but the victim did not approach police and was seen staggering injured through the crowd. Senior Sergeant Rob Glencross said the police were investigating leads but had still not confirmed the identity of the victim.