A 32-year-old Napier woman appeared in court charged with assault yesterday after her partner was found in a crashed car with fatal stab wounds.

Police believe the incident was domestic-related and the woman was remanded in custody until Wednesday when she is expected to face more serious charges.

The names of the woman and the 37-year-old man were suppressed.

Senior Sergeant Fred van Duuren said police were called to a car crash in Fife Cres, Napier, about 6pm on Friday.

The driver had stab wounds to his chest and was taken to hospital but died that night.

A resident living near the crash said he heard arguing about 6pm and a little later a loud crash.

"He must have hit the fence pretty hard because the scene is a mess."