Police believe a robbery was behind a killing in Rangiora at the weekend.
They have charged a 36-year-old Canterbury man with the murder of Tony John Lochhead, 51, who died at a home in White St, Rangiora, on Friday night.
They have also charged the man with wounding Lochhead's brother, Peter Graham Lochhead, in a bid to flee after an armed robbery. The charge is referred to as aggravated wounding.
The man's name was suppressed by Christchurch District Court Judge Brian Callaghan when he made his first court appearance today. The reasons for the suppression were also suppressed, and media were banned from taking photographs.
The accused was arrested late on Sunday night after police inquiries centred on a car abandoned near Kaiapoi and an appeal for public information from anyone who have may have picked up hitchhikers in the area that night.
Judge Callaghan remanded him in custody to October 11 in the High Court where he said the various suppression orders could be reviewed.
Defence counsel Tony Garrett asked for the remand without plea and made no application for bail.
Earlier, Detective Inspector David Long said inquiries were continuing to identify others who were involved in the incident.
"We are not ruling out the possibility that other arrests will be made in connection with this matter," he said.
The scene examination at the White St property is expected to be completed late today.
Lochhead was the second of three brothers to die in tragic circumstances in the past four years.
In 2009, Jim Lochhead, the youngest of the trio, died in a motorcycle accident on the West Coast, aged 45.
Their father, Rex, also died last year, aged 79.
The altercation between the brothers and "one or more" other people started in the driveway of the Lochheads' property and continued in the doorway of their flat.
Neighbours heard "loud, angry screaming" coming from the property and a 111 call was made about 9.30pm.
A silver Subaru stationwagon, with a blown-out tyre, was seen being driven erratically from the North Canterbury town shortly after the attack.
The car was abandoned near the motorway south of Rangiora and police said it was possible the occupants had hitchhiked toward Christchurch after dumping the vehicle.
Tony Lochhead was still alive when police and paramedics arrived at the scene, but died soon after despite first aid attempts by his older brother and medical staff.
A neighbour saw Peter Lochhead doubled over, with his head in his hands, being helped into an ambulance about 10pm.
He was treated at Christchurch Hospital for minor injuries.
Long said police would not be released details of an autopsy.
"We would like to hear from any member of the public who picked up a hitch-hiker on or near the motorway between the Kaiapoi-Rangiora area and Christchurch, between about 9.30pm and 10.30 pm on Friday night," Long said.
Neighbours in the block of flats where the killing happened were evacuated by police on Friday night and had not returned to their homes yesterday.
A man who formerly lived at the front of the block of flats said the Lochhead brothers "seemed like genuinely nice guys".
"As far as I could tell they were quite close and were just good guys and friendly to talk to," he said.
The former neighbour, who did not want to be named, moved out about six weeks ago and was "definitely shocked" when he heard about the homicide.
Shannon Wright, who lives across the road from the crime scene, heard "really loud and angry yelling" late Friday, but had assumed it was stray revellers from a teenage party.
"When I got up in the middle of the night I could see heaps of light across the road so I looked out the window and saw men in boiler suits and police putting a cordon up," she said.
"I knew something bad had happened; it was definitely really scary."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Christchurch police on (03) 363 7400.
Alternatively, to provide information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- © Fairfax NZ News
What do you think of Gerry Brownlee's idea for a large water sports park in the red zone?