Three children detained over a fatal stabbing in Hamilton are all understood to be girls.
The victim was a well-respected Hamilton rugby player and resident who has been praised for looking out for his neighbours.
Norman Kingi, 54, was allegedly stabbed when he interrupted a group of young people allegedly breaking into a car on Ranui Street in Dinsdale at 11.30pm on Friday.
It is understood the 15, 13 and 12-year-old detained in relation to the incident are all girls.
A police media spokeswoman would not confirm the genders, saying it was standard protocol with youths and Youth Court.
The 15 and 13-year-old face charges of aggravated wounding and unlawful interference with a motor vehicle and appeared in the Hamilton Youth Court on Saturday.
A 12-year-old was also to be referred to Youth Aid for unlawful interference with a motor vehicle.
Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley said there had been a lot of young people at a party nearby and police were still hoping to speak to anyone who had attended.
Mr Kingi had been walking home from the Frankton Railway Combined Sports Club when he interrupted a group of young people allegedly breaking into a car.
“During the altercations Mr Kingi has suffered a fatal wound and has subsequently died,” Mr Pitkethley said.
Mr Kingi played for the Fairfield United Yellow Bellies over-50 rugby team and was described as a valued member of the Frankton Railway Combined Sports Club. The club postponed its annual general meeting following the news of his death.
Yesterday the club was still coming to terms with the much-loved player’s death. Fellow team-mates gathered at the club last night, but no one wanted to comment.
Treasurer Max Woodland told RNZ Mr Kingi was a “lovely chap” and a great club member.
His partner witnessed the incident. Mr Kingi has four adult children.
The post-mortem examination has been completed and Mr Kingi’s body has been returned to his family.