Police have confirmed there are three scenes of interest after a suspected homicide victim died at the Whangarei ambulance station this morning.
Earlier this afternoon, police closed a country road leading to a house just south of Hikurangi after the death of the 37-year-old man, who is yet to be named.
Just 10km north of the ambulance base, where the bloodied man was brought in a critical condition about 6.30 this morning, officers police blocked off a short gravel road at Piano Hill.
An officer kept guard with road spikes preventing traffic entering. More officers could be seen at a brown-coloured board-and-baton house 100m further along the road.
By 3pm police confirmed a homicide inquiry had been launched and the rural address - as well as the ambulance base and another Central Whangarei address - were "of interest" to officers.
Detective Inspector Kevin Burke said ESR staff were called from Auckland to carry out scene examinations at both addresses and also at the Whangarei St John Ambulance Station.
"Police are still working to establish the circumstances surrounding this man's death.
"We are asking any members of the public who may have witnessed a group of men gathered in the Whangarei or Kamo areas in the early hours of this morning to contact Whangarei Police," Mr Burke said.
He said police would not release the victim's name until formal identification had taken place.
A post-mortem would be carried out tomorrow.
Meanwhile, an officer toting a hefty firearm kept a close eye on the scene outside Northland ambulance headquarters as upset family members converged at the cordon.
They began to gather shortly after word spread that the man - who had been taken by car to the station in a critical condition - had died. Police were called and quickly put up police tape about 6.40am.
As whanau arrived and parked on the side of Western Hills Drive, there was hugging and crying. One family member said the shock was still sinking in.
Another woman pushing a pram with two young children left the scene in tears.
Neighbours in the area were unsure what was happening but some had their suspicions when they saw one man with blood-stained clothing.
"I came out to open up my front gate and collect the paper and I saw the police over there," said one neighbour.
"They've taken one man away in a police car so I'm not sure what is happening."
While officers guarded the scene others paid particular attention to a silver Mercedes car in the middle of the cordon which had a gang vest resting on the bonnet.