A homicide investigation following the death of a local man who was left for dead on a Haumoana beach on Monday is ongoing in what has been dubbed "Operation Helm".

Mark Geoffrey Beale, 45, was found unconscious on the beach in Haumoana about 7am on Monday and was taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital where he remained in a critical condition in intensive care before he died on Tuesday morning as a result of serious head injuries.

Detective inspector Mike Foster said inquiries were ongoing and a post-mortem examination was being carried out in Wellington today.

He said that a specialist search group had finished an examination of the area where Mr Beale was found unconscious and that the scene had also been examined forensically.


Police also continued to liaise with Mr Beale's family yesterday, providing support for them.

A death notice written by Mr Beale's family stated that was a dearly loved son and father who left behind his parents, several siblings and two children.

Mr Beale's brother, Robert Beale, declined to comment due to the ongoing homicide investigation.

A funeral service for Mr Beale will be held in the Beth Shan Chapel at 2pm on Sunday at Napier, followed by a private cremation.

Mr Foster said the information provided by the public so far was "heartening" and encouraged anyone who hadn't spoken to police to come forward.

"We would still like to speak with all people who may frequent or fish at Haumoana on a regular basis, or from time to time. We're hoping they can provide us with important information, regardless of whether they were there on Sunday, February 5, or not. They may be able to help us identify people who may have been in the area," Mr Foster said.

Police encourage anyone with information to call (06) 873 0519.