Murder charge over Northland NYE killing

  • 05/01/2016
Murder charge over Northland NYE killing

A man has been charged with murder over the death of a Northland man who was brutally bashed on New Year's Eve.

Lee Rata, 35, was found by a passer-by on the side of a road in Kaitaia around 11pm on December 31.

He was taken to Whangarei Hospital and placed on life support, but died on New Year's Day.

A post-mortem examination confirmed Mr Rata died from a blunt force trauma to the head.

A police spokeswoman this morning confirmed an arrest has been made in relation to the attack on Mr Rata.

Detective Inspector Kevin Burke says the arrested man will appear in Whangarei District Court today.

"Police would like to thank the Kaitaia community for the information they have provided, which has led to this arrest," he said.

"The investigation continues as we establish exactly what has occurred and if any other people are involved."

Extra police staff have been brought in to help with the ongoing investigation.

Police still want to speak to a large number of people who were at a nearby New Year's Eve party.

Mr Rata's tangi is being held today.

NZN