An inquest has heard how a nightclub doorman was assaulted by four drunk young men shortly before a security guard was killed at a nearby building site.
Charanpreet Dhaliwal, 22, was attacked at the Auckland site in November 2011, just hours into his first shift.
Detective Sergeant Murray Free said the Chicks nightclub called police about the attack on the doorman after he had refused to let four young Polynesian men into the club.
The police were unable to respond to the call but the four were later part of the police investigation into the security guard's death.
Mr Free said two of the men were on bail on charges of assaulting a security guard at a school and a third was also on bail at the time.
A witness said today he saw a man he was with use a piece of wood like a baseball bat to hit Mr Dhaliwal.
He said he had been drinking with three other men when they tried to get into the nightclub and, when they were turned away, one of the men punched the doorman.
He said the same man also hit Mr Dhaliwal at the nearby site soon after. The witness said he was in shock and ran off when he heard what sounded like a second hit.
The inquest heard that the witness saw Mr Dhaliwal turn away from the men, crouch down and try to protect his face. It was told that Mr Dhaliwal was found to have suffered several blows to the head and had a major skull fracture above his left eye.
No DNA found - police
Mr Free said the police investigation was stymied by a failure to find DNA evidence on potential murder weapons.
He said two lengths of timber and a steel footplate found near the scene were examined by forensics, and there were no DNA matches on any of the items.
He said police carried out electronic surveillance, had witness statements, gathered information from two Police Ten 7 television programmes and did property searches.
The man accused of Mr Dhaliwal's murder was acquitted at a trial in 2013.
The security company, CNE, was also cleared of failing to provide a safe workplace.
Mr Dhaliwal had been working on his first night shift at the site, after being called in to cover for another security guard. He had come to New Zealand in 2010 to study and did several cleaning and security jobs.
Mr Dhaliwal's mother and brother were due to fly from India for the inquest but his mother was injured and she did not want her son to fly alone.
A spokesman for the family, Jasjit Singh, said she was hopeful that the inquest would find someone responsible for her son's death. He said the family was still bitter about the outcome of the two previous cases.