The man who died in a police cell in South Auckland has been named as Sentry Taitoko.
An investigation is underway after the 20-year-old died in custody at the Manukau station on Sunday.
Radio New Zealand visited the family's home on Wednesday, where whanau said they were grieving and didn't want to comment.
Police say Mr Taitoko was picked up for breaching the peace, while his family was trying to restrain him.
He was put into a cell to sober up, but police say a doctor was unable to physically assess him as he was violent.
They say Mr Taitoko was found four hours later having breathing difficulties and paramedics and officers tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate him.
Police have released little other information and investigations are underway.