A post-mortem on a man found dead next to his car north of Wellington has confirmed that he had suffered stab wounds and had been assaulted.
Police have upgraded the investigation into the death of Matthew Stevens, who was 32, to a homicide investigation.
Mr Steven's body was found next to his white Toyota Corolla vehicle on Paekakariki Hill Road on Friday.
Detective Sergeant Mike Sears said they still wanted to hear from anyone who had seen Mr Stevens or his vehicle, registration RZ1852, anytime from 10.00pm on Thursday through to 1.30am on Friday.
Police were still undertaking a forensic examination of his vehicle.