Tarun Asthana, who was on life support in hospital since he was assaulted on Saturday morning, died in Auckland City Hospital on Monday, police said. He was surrounded by family and friends at the time of his death, local media reported quoting police officials.

Asthana was returning from a night of clubbing with friends when he was punched. The offender had allegedly approached Asthana after a woman got upset when he complimented her on her dress. Asthana was knocked to the ground by a single punch and lost consciousness after his head struck the pavement outside a McDonald's in downtown Queen St, the reports said.

He was rushed to hospital and placed on life support. He, however, succumbed to his injuries. Detective Senior Sergeant Peter Florence on Sunday said the attacker had been in McDonald's with several other men and women and the group had left straight after the attack.

Police on Sunday arrested 27-year-old Grenville MacFarland and charged him with assaulting Asthana. He was produced today in the Auckland District Court. His charge has not yet been updated to reflect Asthana's death. MacFarland has been remanded on bail until November 15.

Inquiries were continuing and police were seeking any information from anyone who was in the area at the time and witnessed the assault. Sam Matthews, a friend of Asthana, said he was the "most nice, peaceful guy out".

Asthana was training to become a primary school teacher at the University of Auckland. He worked in hospitality part-time. His former employer at The Falls Restaurant, where he served front of house, said Asthana was a "kind, loyal, fun-loving guy. He was always respectful and nice to be around."


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