Robert Wilkinson. Supplied photo
The family of a man murdered in a brutal New Year attack
at Waihi Beach have broken their silence and appealed for the
killer come forward.
Expatriate New Zealander Robert Wilkinson, 64, known as
Murray, was stabbed outside a caravan parked in the driveway
of a Waihi Beach home early on January 1.
He died in the intensive care unit of Waikato Hospital
His son, wife and daughter fronted media at a press
conference in Hamilton today.
Dan Wilkinson said the family were "desperate to understand"
what had happened to his father.
"Somebody has the answer to my dad's death," he said.
"If you know anything - anything at all, please let the
He said the family had been robbed of Mr Wilkinson's love and
while they appreciated the public focus in finding the killer
and helping police, they wanted to grieve privately.
Mr Wilkinson's daughter Cory Rance and widow Luise were at
the press conference but were too distraught to speak
Detective Inspector Chris Page said police were still seeking
the weapon used to kill Mr Wilkinson, who lived in
Queensland, and had widened the area they were searching. It
is unclear what kind of weapon was used, he said.
A post-mortem examination of Mr Wilkinson's body was to be
completed in Auckland today.
Thirty police staff are working on the homicide investigation
as they hunt for the attacker, who fled the scene when
neighbours heard a disturbance.
Checkpoints were set up at Waihi exit-points on Wednesday for
police to talk to holidaymakers as they left the area and
they have also asked New Year's Eve partygoers to supply
their festive photographs in the hope the pictures identify
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 Can be left
with police on 07 858 6200 or anonymously with Crimestoppers
on 0800 555 111.
- By Anna Leask of the New Zealand Herald