A man accused of stabbing a Kawerau man to death is now to face a charge of murder when he appears in the Whakatane District Court tomorrow.

The 31-year-old unemployed man was originally charged with assault but police have today confirmed the charge has been upgraded to murder.

A Kawerau man was killed on Thursday night last week at a Holyoake Cres house after he was allegedly stabbed in the neck.

Police said the neck wound was unsurvivable. The accused and the dead man were known to each other.


Police were alerted to the incident after someone at the house made a 111 call requesting an ambulance. Ambulance staff then contacted police.

When police arrived, they found a 9-year-old child and three adults, including one woman and two men, at the scene.

The child is helping police with their investigation.

The court has suppressed the name of the dead man and the accused.