The mysterious death of an elderly man will be investigated further at a coroner's inquest.
Brian Lindsay Culpan, 72, was found dead in the garden of his daughter's home in the Auckland suburb of St Heliers last July, but the last person to see him alive refused to tell police what happened.
The man was charged with assault but the lack of a statement meant detectives did not have enough evidence to push ahead with the prosecution.
The charge was dropped, and the 51-year-old man walked free from court with permanent name suppression.
The Herald revealed two weeks ago that the police file had been sent to the coroner to hold a hearing, which the family of Mr Culpan hoped could determine the unexplained circumstances of his death.
A spokesman for the Coroner's Office confirmed an inquest would be held, although a date had yet to be set for the hearing.
An inquest is a process to discover what happened rather than a trial to apportion blame.
The coroner can make recommendations to draw public attention to the circumstances surrounding the death and possibly prevent similar deaths from occurring.
Under the Coroners Act, a coroner has the power to subpoena witnesses to appear at an inquest.
But witnesses can refuse to give evidence if they believe their statements would be self-incriminating.
Mr Culpan's family hope the hearing can bring closure to the unexplained death of the successful businessman, who was passionate about yachting and tennis.
"He was an elderly man who was not violent. We know he died from a broken neck mysteriously during a dispute," said a family spokesman.
"However, we do not know the facts around how this occurred.
"We want answers as to exactly what happened to our father. We are putting our faith in the legal system and sincerely hope the police and the coroner can uncover thetruth."
Mr Culpan died last July after an argument with a man at the St Heliers property.
Only three people were at the Maskell St address on the afternoon that Mr Culpan died. He was visiting his daughter Natalie Culpan, the founder of the successful Visage modelling agency, and let himself in with his ownkey.
She was on the second floor of the home when Mr Culpan confronted the other man, who was known to him, downstairs about 2.30pm, when the pair started arguing.
The row shifted to the patio at the front of the house and was overheard by neighbours.
Mr Culpan was found dead in the garden and autopsy results showed that he died from a broken neck.
The other man refused to give a formal statement to detectives investigating the death, on the advice of his lawyer, Barry Hart, and he was charged with assaulting Mr Culpan.
But without any witnesses or corroborating evidence, the police were forced to withdraw the charge last November.
* July 21, 2011: Brian Lindsay Culpan, 72, dies from a broken neck.
* July 22: A 51-year-old man appears in Auckland District Court charged with assault.
* November 13: Assault charge dropped and man is given permanent name suppression.
* May, 2012: Police refer file to coroner.
* June: Coroner confirms an inquest will be held.