A friend of the man who died after trying to stop a car theft in Hamilton has described him as a lovely man.
Norman Kingi died shortly after midnight on Saturday morning.
The police believe Mr Kingi, 54, disturbed a group of young people breaking into a vehicle on Ranui Street in Hamilton on Friday night.
The treasurer of the Frankton Railway Combined Sport Club, Max Woodland, said Mr Kingi was at the club on Friday night and was returning home when the incident happened.
Mr Woodland said Mr Kingi was a "lovely chap" who had been a member of the club for quite a few years.
"He was a great club member here, he was here all the time," he said.
Mr Kingi played for the Yellowbellies rugby club which went overseas on tour every two years.
Mr Kingi has four adult children, and his daughter had been in Bali but was returning tonight.
Mr Woodland said Mr Kingi also had a partner who witnessed the incident.
"I saw his partner yesterday, she's just like a zombie at the moment because she saw it happen."
Mr Woodland said the club was feeling "pretty empty" and trying to come to terms with the tragedy.
The Yellowbellies rugby team were planning to have a game at the club today and will be meeting at midday to decide whether to carry on with the match.
The police have opened a homicide investigation and said they were close to lifting the cordons from the scene of the stabbing.
The post mortem has been completed and Mr Kingi has been returned to his family.
Local kaumātua have blessed the site of the attack on Ranui Street.
Police want to hear from anybody who had their vehicle broken into in the Dinsdale and Newton area of Hamilton on Friday. They are also asking young people who were present in the area late on Friday night to contact them.
A 15-year-old and a 13-year-old have been arrested, and yesterday appeared in the Hamilton Youth Court.
A 12-year-old has been referred to Youth Aid.