Tuai is a "lovely" old hydro village. It is also the scene of a murder.

A 30-year-old man was killed early on Saturday morning and police are saying little about the circumstances surrounding his death.

They were called to a residential address in Tuai at about 3am to find the man dead.

A 20-year-old man was later arrested for murder and no one else was being sought in relation to the incident.


Wairoa mayor Craig Little called it a "lovely village".

He had worked and played rugby there.

He said in days past there might have been "a bit of a rumble".

"But no knives were ever involved," he said, hinting at the use of a weapon.

"It is a waste of two good lives," he said.

"One is deceased and one could be locked up for most of his life.

"It is just tragic - it has shocked everybody."

Tuai has a total population of 252 people, many of them were reluctant to speak to media.

The fantails twittering around the empty baches made more noise than the locals.

It was beautiful day with a clear blue sky above.

Some nodded when asked if they knew of the crime but then quickly shook their head when asked what happened.

Others only knew what they had seen in the media.

Police spent Saturday at Tuai, near Lake Waikaremoana, which consists mainly of workers' cottages that were built for the hydro scheme in the late 1920s.

They conducted a thorough investigation and interviewed witnesses in the slow-paced settlement, which cellphone coverage has not yet reached.

Shortly afterwards they arrested a 20-year-old man.

He will appear in Hastings District Court today, charged with murder.

Hawke's Bay Today understands the victim was in the Lake Waikaremoana area for work where he had relatives living, as he hailed from further up the East Coast.

Police have not yet released his name.