Residents of a Whangārei accommodation park were unaware anything had happened in the early hours of yesterday until they woke later to find police swarming over the site.

A homicide investigation had been launched after a man died at the Otaika Accommodation Park on Otaika Rd.

Detective inspector Dene Begbie said the man, who suffered critical chest injuries as a result of what is believed to be a stabbing, arrived at the park at around 12.30am yesterday.

"Despite efforts to revive him, he died at the scene."


Several people who walked out of a driveway adjacent to the park's main entrance yesterday morning said they lived at the park, but they did not know what had happened and had not heard any activity in the early hours.

One man said he was asleep when his friend phoned him to say the park was all blocked off.

Another man said he got in late on Saturday night but did not hear anything. When he woke up yesterday there were ''police everywhere''.

Police are seeking information from the public in relation to the events leading up to the man suffering fatal injuries.

"The priority for us is firstly to support the family, and then to establish the circumstances around how he's come to sustain these injuries."

Begbie appealed to people who may have seen anything in the area to come forward.

"We'd ask anyone who was in the Otaika area late [Saturday] evening and into the early hours of [Sunday] morning to let us know if they saw anything suspicious or that may be of interest to us."

Police carrying out the investigation yesterday could be seen going in and out of the park and a neighbouring property.


Begbie said police believed the man, who lived in Whangārei, had been at the neighbouring property but were working to establish exactly when and for how long.

"We're speaking to the people at the house, they're co-operating with us, it's just a matter of getting the details we need."

A local resident, who did not wish to be named, told the Herald there were two loud parties on nearby Murdoch Crescent on Saturday night that were believed to be gang affiliated.

There was a lot of "swearing" and "banging" about 1am, she said.

Yesterday, a police officer stood guard over a silver car which had been cordoned off on Murdoch Crescent, around 400m from the accommodation park.

Begbie said the police had received a call from a member of the public in regards to some disorder in Murdoch Crescent and they were working to establish if it is linked to homicide.

The manager of the accommodation park, Martin Clark, said the man was not a tenant - although he had visited previously - and had come looking for help.

He was alone and said he had been stabbed, Clark said.

Begbie said the man's body has been removed from the park.

A forensic postmortem examination would be carried out in Auckland today.

Begbie could not comment on reports the man was father to be.

He said it was early in the inquiry and he would not comment on whether there was a gang aspect to the homicide or not, or on reports the property next door had been raided in the past for drugs.

Begbie expected the examination of the site to continue into today.