A 43-year-old man has died following an assault in Taihape's Thrush St in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Police were called to it just after midnight, and Taihape firefighters were also present.

They found a man with critical injuries. The New Zealand Herald reports he died while being taken to a nearby airbase to be airlifted to hospital.

Central District Detective Inspector Brent Matuku has named the man as Kerrin Payne. He was from Taihape, and known as "Ted".

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Police extend their sympathy to Payne's whānau and friends.

Taihape chief fire officer Alan Troon would not talk about what happened, out of respect to the family.

A 23-year-old man has been taken into custody and charged with murder. He will appear in Whanganui District Court on July 15.

Police are not seeking anyone else in relation to the death, but their enquiries are continuing.

Anyone with information about the circumstances surrounding the death or those involved is asked to contact police on 105.

Or, they can give anonymous information by ringing Crimestoppers, 0800 555 111.