Police have named the man who died following an assault in Hawke's Bay yesterday.

He was Mark Geoffrey Beale, 45, of Haumoana.

Beale was found unconscious on a beach yesterday morning.

He died overnight and, as a result, officers have upgraded the case to a homicide.

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Police said they believed he was the victim of an assault and are now appealing for any witnesses or anyone who may have information in relation to the incident to come forward.

"Police would like to hear from people who may have been in the area of Domain Road and Grange Road on the afternoon or evening of Sunday 5th February,'' a statement said.

"The area where Mr Beale was found is popular with people fishing, dog walking and other recreational activities.''

Police also urged people who fished regularly or frequented that area to contact authorities.

• Can you help? Anyone with information is asked to call Hastings Police: (06) 873 0500 or CrimeStoppers Anonymous: 0800 555 111.