Police have searched properties in Northland following the killing of a man in Kaitaia on New Year's Eve.
The body of Lee Rata, who was 35, was found severely beaten on the side of Bonnetts Road about 11pm, shortly after he attended a party in the area.
Fifteen police and forensic experts are on the case, which was upgraded yesterday to a homicide inquiry.
A post mortem is being held today.
Police are seeking information from people who were in the area.