Robert Murray Wilkinson
The man stabbed outside a caravan early on New Year's Day
has died in hospital, prompting police to ramp up their
investigation to a homicide.
Expatriate New Zealander Robert Murray Wilkinson, 64, was
fighting for his life after being attacked while
investigating a disturbance at popular holiday spot Waihi
Beach about 1am on January 1.
But the Queensland resident died in Waikato Hospital's
intensive care unit today.
Thirty police staff were now working on the homicide
investigation as they hunt for the attacker, who fled the
scene when neighbours heard a disturbance.
The weapon had not yet been found, and police were asking
witnesses to come forward.
Checkpoints were set up at Waihi exit-points yesterday for
police to talk to holidaymakers as they left the area.
Police have also asked New Year's Eve partygoers to supply
their festive photographs, in the hope the pictures identify
"It's the people who may be in the background or off to the
side [of the photos] we're interested in.
"If you took images between 12.30am-1am on Tuesday morning
around where Mr Wilkinson was attacked, please send them to
the names of whoever you can identify in the picture,''
Detective Inspector Chris Page said.
Inspector Dana McDonald said given the advantages of modern
technology it wasn't inconceivable that with the public
behind them, police could identify through images provided
from the public, the majority of people present in the area
around the time of the attack.
Mr Page appealed to the attacker to give himself up.
"This matter is now a homicide investigation and can be
resolved by the persons involved making contact with us or
our team locating them. We ask that if you know who was
involved or were involved you make contact with police.''
A forensic examination of the scene was completed yesterday,
and a scene examination was continuing.
A post mortem examination of Mr Wilkinson's body would be
completed in Auckland tomorrow.
The 'Operation Brad' police investigation continued today,
with Waikato police being joined by colleagues from
neighbouring districts to allow the net to be cast wider.
Officers who had been canvassing the area for a weapon for
the past three days were now carrying out various area
Waihi Beach's normal population is about 3000 but swelled to
16,000 over the festive period.
When the attack occurred, officers were moving on large
numbers of mostly young people from the area around the surf
club, the motor camp, Beach Rd and Ocean View Rd.
Information for the Operation Brad investigation could be
left with police on 07 858 6200 or anonymously with
Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.