Three children detained over a fatal stabbing in Hamilton are all understood to be girls.

The victim was a well-respected Hamilton rugby player and resident who has been praised for looking out for his neighbours.

Norman Kingi, 54, was allegedly stabbed when he interrupted a group of young people allegedly breaking into a car on Ranui St in Dinsdale at 11.30pm on Friday.

The Herald understands the 15, 13 and 12-year-old detained in relation to the incident are all girls.

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A police media spokeswoman would not confirm the genders, saying it was standard protocol with youths and Youth Court.

The 15 and 13-year-old face charges of aggravated wounding and unlawful interference with a motor vehicle and appeared in Hamilton Youth Court on Saturday. A 12-year-old was also to be referred to Youth Aid for unlawful interference with a motor vehicle.

Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley said there had been a lot of young people at a party nearby and police were still hoping to speak to anyone who had attended.

Kingi had been walking home from the Frankton Railway Combined Sports Club when he interrupted a group of young people allegedly breaking into a car.

"During the altercations Mr Kingi has suffered a fatal wound and has subsequently died," Pitkethley said.

Kingi played for the Fairfield United Yellow Bellies over-50 rugby team and was described as a valued member of the Frankton Railway Combined Sports Club. The club postponed its AGM following the news of his death.

Friends and family were instead invited to pay respects to Kingi at the FRCSC Clubrooms this morning before his body was taken to Taumarunui later in the day.

"The Club wishes to express their sincere condolences to Vicki and family and offer our support in any way," a message from club secretary Keith Hunt said on its Facebook page.

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Yesterday the club was still coming to terms with the much-loved player's death. Fellow teammates gathered at the club last night, but no one wanted to comment when contacted by the Herald.

However, tributes on social media described Kingi as a well-known, loving person and sent their thoughts to his partner Vicki Reihana and their family.

"An awesome man taken far far to early RIP Norm, light up the skies with your electrical personality," one post said.

A Ranui St resident posted that the street had been so quiet since it happened.

The cordon guarding the scene was only lifted yesterday morning and there was a blessing by local kaumatua.

"We've all been shook up. So sad what can happen when you in a normal place at a normal time like he is every week. But being the good person he was, he didn't want a fellow resident's car to become a joyride."

The family did not want to comment to media.