Police have charged a 22-year-old Northland man with the murder of Lee Rata as they continue to investigate whether others were involved in the fatal attack.

Mr Rata died in Whangarei Hospital on New Year's Day after he was assaulted outside a party in Kaitaia on New Year's Eve.

The arrested man will appear in the Whangarei District Court today.

Police say 22 staff pulled from around the North Island are continuing to work on the inquiry to help with the large number of witnesses who need to be spoken to.


Detective Inspector Kevin Burke thanked the Kaitaia community for the information they had provided which has led to today's arrest.

He said police were still determining what happened and if any other people were involved.

Police were still appealing for witnesses who may have seen the victim earlier in the evening and people who were in the Bonnett Rd area attending a party.

They were asked to phone 09 408 6500 or anonymously on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 with any information.