Police say the death of 53-year-old James Butler in Whanganui on Sunday was not the reuslt of a random attack.

"The people in this incident are known to each other," a spokesperson said.

Butler was found dead after emergency services were called to a Wikitoria Rd house just before 7pm.

Police would not say if they were looking for a specific person but no one has been arrested.


"At this stage we can add nothing further for operational reasons."

Corrections confirmed on Tuesday Butler was on a community-based sentence after a request from NZME considered under the Official Information Act.

It is believed Butler was on home detention.

Read more: Police name man at centre of homicide investigation

A homicide investigation was launched after Butler was found dead and another man in his 50s was found seriously injured.

The second man was taken to Whanganui Hospital and was reported to be in a stable condition.

A post-mortem examination was expected to be completed on Wednesday.

Police have asked anybody with information to come forward.


Anyone who may have information is asked to contact police by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 11.