A man has now been charged with murder over the slaying of a man in Nukuhou, in eastern Bay of Plenty, who was fatally injured on Christmas Eve.
Wipatene Mason, 41, died on Boxing Day after police were called to a "disorder incident" at 5pm on December 24, police say.
His death is being investigated as a homicide.
A 35-year-old man was initially charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, but his charges have now been upgraded.
The man is now being charged with the murder of Mason.
He's due to appear in Tauranga District Court on February 10, police say.