A man has been accused of murdering a relative, hours after the dead man proposed to the mother of his three young children.

James Samuel Galloway, a 25-year-old house painter from Turangi with a stab wound, was driven to the town's police station by a 35-year-old about 7.15am yesterday.

Detective Senior Sergeant Todd Pearce would not confirm the older man's relationship to Galloway but said attempts to revive Galloway were unsuccessful.

"A post-mortem examination will take place in Auckland tomorrow morning and will provide police with the cause of death," said Pearce.

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He said no one else was being sought in relation to the incident, which appeared to be domestic-related.

Neighbours of the Raniamohia Rd house Galloway shared with his partner and their children, aged 5, 3 and 1, said they did not hear anything suspicious overnight.

Galloway's boss of seven years, Tony O'Brien, of Total Property Managers, said the community was in "shock" over the death.

He said Galloway was due to turn out at fullback for the Tongariro Rugby Club at a home game yesterday afternoon.

Grief-stricken team-mates and residents gathered before kick off to discuss his death. O'Brien said nobody was sure whether the game should go ahead until Galloway's father, David, told them his son would have wanted them to play.

And he said Galloway had proposed to his partner, who he nicknamed "the boss", after work on Friday.

"You couldn't meet a nicer guy," said O'Brien.

"The most devastating thing about the whole thing is the guy wouldn't hurt a fly. [His partner] just doted on him."

Another friend described Galloway as "an awesome rugby player and an awesome dad".

District councillor and JP Don Ormsby said murders were rare in the area.

"It's sad. I came here as a policeman in 1978 and in all this time we've had three murders. In a town this size we don't want too many. A murder in this town is not very nice."

His main concern was the increase in murders across the nation.

"Irrespective of what it is, murder is murder, domestic or otherwise."

The 35-year-old will appear in Taupo District Court tomorrow.