Police expect to lay more serious charges against an unemployed Kawerau man following the fatal stabbing of a 23-year-old in the mill town last night.
A 31-year-old man, who has interim name suppression, appeared in the Whakatane District Court at 10.30am today facing one charge of assault.
Standing in the dock wearing a white hospital gown and on crutches, the man kept his eyes toward the ground during his appearance.
He was remanded in custody to re-appear in the Whakatane District Court next Wednesday by Justice of the Peace Peta Barker.
Police prosecutor Chris Howard told the court police supported name suppression for both the offender and the victim as family still had to be told and the investigation was in the early stages.
Two men were in court to support the accused.