A man has died after he was attacked by a group during a night out with workmates at the Viaduct Harbour in Auckland.
Billy Dawson had been on life support and surrounded by family who had flown from Christchurch when they learned of his injuries.
Police have confirmed he has now died.
Early yesterday, the 34-year-old became separated from Sky Television workmates he had been out drinking with for several hours. He was attacked about an hour later.
Later in the day, three men appeared in the Auckland District Court in relation to the assault.
Police say the investigation is now a homicide case, but no further charges have been laid yet.
A colleague who was with Mr Dawson said the replay operator was believed to have bumped into a group of men and might have made a "cheeky" comment to them.
It was understood he was king-hit from behind and fell to the ground.
The colleague said Mr Dawson had been heavily involved in the network's Rugby World Cup coverage.
He was in good spirits and seemed to be enjoying himself before he wandered off a little after midnight.
The assault happened near Spy bar about 1.30am.
Appearing in the Auckland District Court in police-issue boilersuits were Kit John Murray, Mona Christo Feterika and Antoni Te Moko Rogers. All were charged with assault. Feterika, 36, was also charged with possession of methamphetamine.
He and Rogers were released on bail. Murray was remanded in custody until a bail hearing next week.
Police prosecutor Todd Nicholls said yesterday more serious charges were expected.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard asked witnesses to contact police.
- Additional reporting: Edward Gay
* Anyone with information should call Auckland Central police station on (09) 302-6400. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.