The man who died at Bowentown early on New Year's Day has been named as Derrick Hann of Ngati Maniapoto, from Te Kuiti King Country.

The 56-year-old died after a disorder incident on Wednesday, January 1, near Waihi Beach.

This afternoon, police said the homicide investigation was ongoing.

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Reports of a disorder incident on Seaforth Rd, Bowentown, were passed on to police around 1am on the first day of the year.

On arrival, police officers found a man in a critical condition. Emergency medical treatment was given, but the man died at the scene.

Following the death, a roadblock was put in place restricting access to the Bowentown peninsula, where Seaforth Rd reaches the Bowentown Beach Holiday Park.

Police said they attended reports of disorder on Seaforth Rd in Bowentown shortly before 1am. Photo / Google
Police said they attended reports of disorder on Seaforth Rd in Bowentown shortly before 1am. Photo / Google

Waihī food truck owner Roy Steed wasn't able to operate at Bowentown until 10am due to the cordons which were lifted later in the day.

His ice cream truck Taku Moemoe'a was then parked in Anzac Bay, serving people next to a newly set up mobile police station.

Steed said: "It's tragic, someone's family member has passed on suddenly."

He praised the way police had handled the situation.

"The communication hub, the mobile station is going to be here for a few hours to try and help the public out."


He said the nearby Bowentown Beach Holiday Park and the wider Waihī area had been very busy during the holiday period so far.

"I know since the 27th Bowentown camp has been full, at capacity, so it could be anyone affected."

Bowentown Beach Holiday Park owner Mike Crosby said staff "were made aware of the incident that occurred outside of the park in the early hours of the morning, New Year's day".

"Our sympathies are with the family and friends of this person and we understand the police have a full investigation under way, which we are assisting with in any means possible."

Waihī Beach Community Board chairman Ross Goudie said he heard "emergency services go down the road in the middle of the night".

"We thought it was a fire, and it wasn't.

"I am very, very surprised that something like this has happened. There hasn't been any previous trouble there to my knowledge."

The incident was not the first time tragedy has struck the small community on January 1.

In 2013, expatriate New Zealander Robert Wilkinson was stabbed outside a caravan parked in the driveway of a Waihī Beach home.

He died in Waikato Hospital two days later.

Waihī teenager Israel Kaihau was found guilty of manslaughter later that year and was sentenced to jail for a minimum of four years.