Police have named a Lower Hutt bus driver killed in what may have been a robbery gone wrong.
Herman Emanuel Curry, 64, of Epuni was found unconscious at the Waterloo bus depot in Lower Hutt with head injuries shortly after 10pm on Friday. Ambulance staff performed CPR but Mr Curry died at the scene.
Police say the death may have been a botched robbery, as the cash box from Mr Curry's bus is missing.
A pile of coins has been found on the ground in a Lower Hutt street.
"Mr Curry's cash box from the bus he was driving has not been located. We want to hear from anyone who may have seen this cash box in the vicinity of the Waterloo Interchange or anyone who knows where it is now," Detective Inspector Darrin Thomson says.
NZ Bus chief executive Zane Fulljames says bus drivers had been given the option to stay home on Saturday to deal with the loss of a colleague. The cash box may have held as little as $50.
"This is a tragic incident which has deeply impacted the NZ Bus and Valley Flyer family. Our first priority is to support the family of the victim and the staff at Valley Flyer, who are understandably very upset over the news," he said.
Peter Glensor, chairman of Greater Wellington council committee which oversees public transport, said Valley Flyer services would be disrupted for the next few days and he hoped customers would understand.
Friend Violet Campbell said Mr Curry as a lovely man who was looking forward to a trip back to his homeland Samoa next month. He left behind a wife and four adult children.
"He's good at giving people advice, he helps me out. He can never say anything bad about anybody," APNZ reported her as saying.