Police hunt for Waihi Beach attacker

Police are continuing to hunt the attacker who stabbed a New Years' holidaymaker outside his caravan in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The 64-year old victim is fighting for his life after he was attacked investigating a disturbance at popular holiday spot Waihi Beach about 1am.

The New Zealander, who lives in Australia, was stabbed twice - in the head and neck - and is in intensive care at Waikato Hospital.

The offender fled the scene when neighbours heard a disturbance.

Police say the weapon has not yet been found and are asking witnesses to come forward.

As the investigation heads into its second day, police say it is crucial they speak to holidaymakers before they head home.

Eastern Waikato Area Commander, Inspector Dana McDonald said a scene examination that started yesterday afternoon continued into the night and resumed this morning, assisted by ESR forensic staff.

Officers are going door-to-door speaking to people staying in the area who may have seen or heard something during the early hours of yesterday morning.

"It is this phase which is really crucial for us in piecing together events," Mr McDonald said.

About 1am yesterday, officers were moving "large numbers of mostly young people" on from the area around the surf club, the motor camp, Beach Rd and Ocean View Rd when the attack occurred.

Mr McDonald said someone may have noticed "something or someone suspicious".

He said it was critical that people leaving the area today, who may have seen something or who may have knowledge of what happened, to make contact with police.

Waihi Beach's normal population is about 3000 but swelled to about 16,000 over the festive period

"Many of those people will be heading back home today, possibly with information vital to our investigation," Mr McDonald said.

"We have set up a mobile police station at the scene of yesterday's attack, on the corner of Beach and Ocean View Roads where people can make contact with the enquiry team or they can phone 07 858 6200 and leave their contact details and a member of the enquiry team will contact them."

Or information can be left anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

"This is a tragedy for the man's family and in fact the wider Waihi Beach community and it is important that anyone with any information makes contact with the enquiry team either directly or through Crimestoppers," Mr McDonald said.


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