4 Jan 2016

More police brought in to investigate fatal assault in Northland

4:33 pm on 4 January 2016

Police have increased the number of officers investigating the fatal beating of a Northland man.

Lee Rata, 35, died in hospital on Friday from head injuries after being assaulted near a party in Kaitaia late on New Year's Eve.

Twenty two police staff from four districts are now working on the case, trying to determine who was behind the attack among other factors.

A large number of witnesses needed to be located and spoken to.

Northland District Criminal Investigations Manager Kevin Burke said a number of the guests at the party have returned to their homes outside of Northland.