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The body of Maqbool Hussain, 49, was found at the garage he lived in behind a former green grocery store in Balmoral this week after suffering what police described as a violent death.
Detective Inspector Chris Cahill said Mr Hussain had been fatally assaulted sometime between 6.30pm on Saturday, March 22 and midday on Monday, March 24.
Police are still looking for his killer.
Mr Hussain had been living in the same spot for the better part of a year.
"He had hit hard times and lived in what some would call rough circumstances," Mr Cahill said.
Mr Hussain was originally from Pakistan but had lived in New Zealand since 1992.
He is survived by his estranged wife and daughter, who live overseas.
The owner of a liquor store Mr Hussain frequented daily said he found him accommodation at a boarding house on Balmoral Rd but he didn't last there long.
Danny Narayan described Mr Hussain as a pleasant guy.
"If I refused to serve him he would always still thank me."
Mr Hussain would come in each day to buy a bottle of alcohol, Mr Narayan said.
"And then I'd say to him, 'that's enough for you, because you're damaging your health' and he knew that, and said 'I know you care for me, you put me in the boarding house, but I keep running out'.
"I said to him 'you've got to straighten yourself out'. He said 'oh, my wife ran away, my daughter's gone with her, I had four taxis and I've lost everything'.
'His father died about two months ago, and 28 days later his mum died, he told me."
Mr Hussain's wife was from Samoa and had since returned to there, Mr Narayan said.
Mr Hussain is the third homeless person in Auckland to meet a violent end in the past 12 months.
Auckland City Missioner Diane Robertson said the streets were not safe for homeless people at night.
"We get very concerned for people who are sleeping rough.
"A lot of people feel quite vulnerable on the streets and when something like this happens it makes them feel a lot more vulnerable.
"I think anybody who's sleeping rough and sleeping in exposed places are vulnerable to being attacked. When people are asleep they're at their very most vulnerable because they can't actually see if something's coming."
The problem wasn't Auckland's alone, Ms Robertson said.
"Whether they're sleeping rough in Wellington or Christchurch...I think anywhere that you have people who're sleeping rough [they're at risk]."