Extra police will patrol Petone in the coming days after a 71-year-old man was killed in a Housing New Zealand complex in the area.

The man was found at a property on Jackson St shortly before 10pm, last night.

Detective Inspector Shane Cotter said the death was being treated as a homicide and the investigation was ongoing.

Police were working to understand the circumstances of the man's death, he said.

Advertisement

Today, as a result of the investigation, a 41-year-old man was arrested and appeared in the Lower Hutt District Court on willful damage and drug posession charges. He was remanded in custody.

Cotter said residents would notice an increase police presence in the area over the coming days.

"Police are committed to understanding what has occurred in this incident and holding to account those responsible for the man's death," he said.

Police were still looking to speak with any witnesses to the incident or anyone who may have information that could help with the investigation.

The death would have come as a shock for residents of the longstanding community, a local woman said.

Jackson Street Programme chair Leonie Dodds said the HNZ complex where the man was found was home to residents who knew each other well and had lived in the flats for a long time.

"It's very sad for everyone involved, especially at this time of the year, that there was a death there."

Dodds said the the last death in the area was about seven years ago in a complex that has since been demolished.

Advertisement

Neighbours near the property where the 71-year-old man was found dead said police were last night searching cars leaving the area.

Side streets at the end of Jackson St were blocked off by police after the man was found.

"I went out to put some rubbish out and I saw the end of Jackson was completely blocked off and there was a lot of police cars," one woman said.

"It wasn't until this morning and I saw the news that I knew what happened, it's really unsettling."

Another woman on Jackson St said she heard no sirens but she saw "police with guns" outside her gate.

Anyone with relevant information was being urged to get in touch with Wellington police on (04) 381 2000.

Information can also be given anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.