Police investigating the murder of 35-year-old Kaitaia man Lee Rata are appealing to the public for sightings of a silver 1994 Nissan Primera car (pictured), registration YD7680.

Mr Rata, described by police as the victim of a severe, unprovoked attack, was found by a member of the public in Bonnetts Road, Kaitaia at around 11pm on New Year's Eve. He died in Whangarei Hospital the following day.

Operation Shakespeare head Detective Inspector Kevin Burke said yesterday that the inquiry team had been receiving great assistance from the public, and the investigation was progressing. Earlier he said that while one arrest (of a Kaitaia man in his 20s) had been made on a charge of murder, he believed that more than one person had been involved in Mr Rata's death.

"This Nissan Primera is a vehicle of interest, and we want to hear from anyone who saw this vehicle between Thursday December 31 and Sunday January 3 in the Kaitaia or Moerewa areas," he added yesterday.


Anyone who might have seen it, or had any information in relation to the investigation, was asked to contact the Kaitaia police on (09) 408-6500, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555-111.

As of yesterday a givealittle page set up for Mr Rata's whanau (www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/help4lee) had raised $2650.