Police have launched a homicide investigation after a man was found seriously injured in a car near Ōkaihau, Northland, on Monday evening.
The incident was initially reported as crash on Imms Rd, a rural road just south of Ōkaihau near Lake Ōmāpere, about 8.25pm.
The man died at the scene despite the efforts of emergency services.
Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston, of Northland police, said inquiries into the crash had established the death was suspicious.
A post mortem would be carried out along with formal identification procedures.
The car was still at the scene this morning while the police examination continued.
When the Advocate visited the crash site Imms Rd had been closed with police emergency tape about 200m from the junction with Lake Rd, with an officer making sure no one tried to get through the cordon.
Further up the road officers had set up two tents on the verge near a driveway bordering someone's front garden.
Detectives and specialist ESR (Environmental Science and Research) investigators in white boiler suits could be seen at work.
Police had set up a mobile command centre on the other side of the road.
An expert from the police Serious Crash Unit was also examining the scene.
Johnston said the death would be upsetting for the Far North community.
''But please be assured that we have a team of detectives working quickly to establish the circumstances of what has occurred and identify and locate the person or persons responsible so they can be held to account,'' Johnston said.
Police and Victim Support were supporting the victim's family.
His name would not be released until next of kin had been notified.
Johnston urged anyone information to contact police by visiting their local station or by calling 105 and quoting file number 210928/6273 or Operation Canoe.