Four men have been arrested, accused of a New Year's Day altercation at the Manukau Velodrome carpark in South Auckland that resulted in the death of a 21-year-old.
A 28-year-old from Ōtara, a 22-year-old Māngere East resident and a 22-year-old from Māngere have all been charged with injuring Joseph Tauati with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
If convicted, each man could face up to 10 years' prison.
They were set to appear at Manuakau District Court for the first time today along with a 31-year-old Ōtara man who was charged with assaulting Tauati. That charge carries a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail.
A fifth person, 31, has also been charged with assault "in connection with this incident", police confirmed. However, the alleged victim for that charge is not Tauati.
"As the matter is before the courts, Police are not in a position to comment further," a spokesperson said.
Tauati's death, shortly after arriving at Middlemore Hospital early in the morning on New Year's Day, sparked the first major homicide investigation of 2022.
His partner, Caylah Brown, described Tauati as "humble, selfless and had a heart of gold". The oldest of three brothers, he will be remembered for his devotion to his family, she said.
"This wasn't the way we expected to enter the new year," she said. "He had so much to live for and dreams he wanted to fulfil. He didn't deserve any of this and my heart breaks for his family."
- by Craig Kapitan, NZ Herald