Police are searching for a 28-year-old convict they believe murdered homeless Auckland man Maqbool Hussain.
Three days ago police released the name and photo of Justin Vance Turner as a "person of interest". Turner had recently breached prison release and bail conditions.
They said he had been known to frequent Balmoral - where Hussain was found dead at the back of a vacant grocery store on Monday last week.
Police today confirmed Turner was wanted for murder.
The officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Inspector Chris Cahill, said it was possible Turner was in the southern Wairarapa town of Featherston on Friday night and Saturday morning.
"A man, possibly fitting Turner's description, albeit he was clean shaven, was offered and availed himself of accommodation at the rear of a private property in the town," Cahill said.
"A local man had found this person sitting in the main street so he offered the stranger a bed in his unused house bus for the night.
"He [Turner] was last seen walking north out of Featherston at about 7 o'clock on Saturday morning.
"We are urging motorists, business and transport operators throughout the North Island and possibly further south to be aware of Turner's description and image and to contact police immediately if he is seen or encountered."
Turner has a history of violence and should not be approached, police said.
He was described as Caucasian with noticeably olive skin, short black hair, brown eyes and comparatively bushy eyebrows.
He had a prominent nose, stood 176 centimetres tall, was of medium build and had a neck tattoo of a dog wearing a spike collar.