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Operation Brad; Waihi Beach stabbing release 4

Operation Brad; Waihi Beach stabbing release 4

Police investigating how an ex-pat New Zealander suffered critical injuries outside a caravan parked on a Waihi Beach driveway early on New Year's Day are hoping technology may be able to play a part in identifying who was in the area.

Eastern Waikato Area Commander, Inspector Dana McDonald said Police from across the Waikato and colleagues from Auckland and Counties Manukau were assisting in the investigation known as Operation Brad.

"There are currently about 20 staff working on the investigation with the likelihood of more officers and support staff coming in over coming days.

"At this point in time our victim, a 64-year-old man holidaying at Waihi Beach from his home in Queensland Australia, is in a critical condition in Waikato Hospital's Intensive Care Unit."

Mr McDonald said one of the challenges for Police working on the investigation was the fluxuating nature of Waihi Beach's holiday population.

"The population of Waihi Beach swelled from about 3000 up to 16,000 over the holiday period and unfortunately for the investigation team today was the day thousands of potential sources of information vital to our case chose to leave for home.

"We initially set up checkpoints at the exits out of Waihi trying to speak to people but this proved to cause too much congestion and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. At the same time we're trying to appeal to people who may have taken photographs in the area after midnight on 01 January to contact us."

Investigators trying to identify hundreds of people in the area at the time of the incident believe dozens of photos may have been taken of people and they want to hear from anyone who may be wiling to forward Police such images.

"People often take snaps of New Year's Eve revellers and then think nothing more of them. What we are after is images of people in and around Beach, Hinemoa and Ocean View Roads, the surf club, camping ground and Esplanade between 12.30am and 1.30am.

"During that time lines of Police were ushering large numbers of people out of the area, trying to encourage them to go home and we feel there may be dozens of potentially very useful images out there."

Anyone with such images is asked to email them as attachments to Thames@police.govt.nz stating you give consent for the images to be used by NZ Police and also the names of any person you are able to identify in those images.

"We feel confident in making this appeal given the large degree of support we have already received from the public in regards to people approaching our temporary Police station at the caravan, the Public Information caravan outside the Waihi Beach Police Station and those who have phoned Police or Crimestoppers.

"As we have said earlier, what happened to this man and his family is not only a tragedy for them but also for the wider Waihi Beach community and we would appeal for anyone with information to come forward either by phoning Police on 07 858 6200 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111."

Mr McDonald said this appeal wasn't just to the public but to the offender and any associates as well.

"By now the seriousness of the situation has more than likely become apparent to anyone involved.

"Our advice to that person, or those persons involved, is that the situation is not going to get any better without them making contact with us. We would advise you to do the right thing and make contact with Police rather than wait for us to find you.

ENDS

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