Police investigating a serious assault in Napier say they are making very good progress after extensively interviewing one of the victims.
One man, 24, was taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital following the attack early on Sunday criticially injured. His condition had improved on Tuesday and was listed as serious.
The man and his friend were attacked as they walked home along Kennedy Road. Police are seeking three Maori men in their early 20s.
Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Emmet Lynch told Radio New Zealand's Summer Report programme on Tuesday the unprovoked attack may have been a case of mistaken identity.
Mr Lynch says the trio may have thought the victims were gang members because at least one of the victims was wearing red - a colour associated with a gang in the area.
Mr Lynch says the offenders called out several words that made it clear they were associated with a rival gang.
He says anyone with information should contact police.