Police have identified the man who died outside a Flaxmere pub last night but are yet to notify his family.
The man was found with serious injuries by a member of the public outside the Flax Bar and Eatery at 10.30pm yesterday, and a large cordon is now in place around it.
Detective Senior Sergeant Martin James said the dead man was believed to be about 40, and is known to people locally, but his family has not yet been notified.
Attempts by emergency services to revive the man were unsuccessful.
Watch: Detective Senior Sergeant Martin James from Hawke's Bay CIB talks about the investigation:
Pensioners who live in a row of flats opposite the tavern told RNZ they did not see or hear anything last night.
"Sometimes people argue outside the pub but that's when I just lock my door," said one woman, who did not want to be named.
Other neighbours said it was usually a safe and quiet place to live and they were surprised to learn of the incident.
Staff from the Hastings-based security company, HSM Fire and Security, are helping to guard the scene.
The bar is next to the community centre and pool, and across the road from the Flaxmere police station.
Two large evidence tents have been erected on a grassed area next to the bar.
Detective Senior Sergeant Marty James said the man's death was being treated as a homicide, due to the nature of his injuries.
Cordons are in place between the tavern and Flaxmere Pool.