A man attacked and killed in Taupo has been named as Wiremu Birch, 19.
Mr Birch was found dead on the corner of Rifle Range Rd and Hinekura Ave about 3.15am Friday.
It is believed he was stabbed.
Police are looking for anyone that may have seen or heard anything in the area between 2.30am and 3.30am this morning.
''We believe there are people out there who will know who is responsible for the incident and attack on this young man," Detective Senior Sergeant Graham Perks said.
Police could not rule out gang involvement, he said.
''(However) it is far too early in the investigation to establish what the motives were for this attack, or what the reasons or underlying cause may have been.''
A post mortem will be held on Saturday.
A local person said the man was found on a grass verge by a security guard who was driving home after finishing his shift in Taupo's bar area.
The scene was about 50 metres away from the front door of Rifle Range Rd resident Roy Dunlop, a grave digger.
The 73-year-old said people walked up and down the street at "all hours of the night".
"We've had a bit of trouble with some people with drugs and stuff like that," he said.
"[Police] handcuffed one young bugger last Saturday and took him away."
Dunlop said he woke at 4.20am to see "police cars everywhere", but he didn't hear any fight. "It's pretty close to home, isn't it?"
Police have put up a tent where the incident took place to protect the area from the poor weather conditions, across the road from Dunlop's home.
"There are police cars on site and the road's blocked off about 150m up the road each way," he said.
Dunlop, who has lived in his house for 20 years, said: "Once a month you'll see police cars here having a bit of a clean up."
His house was stuck inside the cordon so he couldn't get to work today.
Taupo resident and stalwart of the Tauhara Community Support Initiative - a group formed to work alongside Tauhara residents and help create a positive identity for their area - Jeannie Short, said the news was a huge shock.
''It's not something we would have expected to happen here and we just hope that we can support everyone that's involved.''It's a huge shame,'' she said.''We are a very close community and this will impact on everybody.''
One Hinekura Ave resident who didn't want to be named said:"They woke me up at 3am, but it was just raised voices and scurrying about, it could have escalated down the street," he said.
The resident who lives about 300m from the corner of Rifle Range Rd and Hinekura Ave said that he had not experienced any other disturbances since he moved there earlier this year.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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