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Police investigating the stabbing of a man at Waihi Beach are stopping motorists leaving the holiday hot spot as they urge the attacker to give himself up.
Eastern Waikato Area Commander, Inspector Dana McDonald said police had still not identified any persons of interest as they try to piece together the random stabbing of a 64-year-old man at a Waihi Beach property.
The expatriate New Zealander has critical injuries and is in intensive care at Waikato Hospital, supported by his wife and family who have come over from their homes in Queensland.
Inspector McDonald said police, who had questioned dozens of motorists leaving the Bay of Plenty township, were "receiving quite good information".
He appealed to the attacker to give himself up.
"We are also appealing to the offender and his associates..at this stage we have a man who is quite critically injured and we want him or his associates to come forward and help us out."
Mr McDonald said having the local population swell as New Year's Eve revellers came to the beachside town had been helpful but also problematic.
"There was a lot of people around at 1 in the morning, and parties were finishing and people were trying to get home after people had celebrations, so there would have been a fair bit of noise," he said.
"We're just trying to encourage people who were around to come forward.
The weapon used in the attack, which is believed to be a knife, has not been found.
A scene examination that started on Tuesday afternoon continued into the night and resumed this morning (Wed), assisted by ESR forensic staff.
Officers went door-to-door speaking to people staying in the area who may have seen or heard something during the early hours of Tuesday morning.
"It is this phase which is really crucial for us in piecing together events," Mr McDonald said.
Mr McDonald said 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.
He said someone may have noticed "something or someone suspicious"and it was critical that people leaving the area, who may have seen something or who may have knowledge of what happened, should contact police.
Waihi Beach's normal population is about 3000 but swelled to 16,000 over the festive period
"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.
"This is a tragedy for the man's family and in fact the wider Waihi Beach community, and it's important that anyone with any information makes contact with the enquiry team either directly or through Crimestoppers," Mr McDonald said.
- By James Ihaka of the NZ Herald