A New Zealand teenager has been charged with bashing a homeless Auckland man who died four days later.

The 17-year-old faced Auckland District Court on Monday charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He has been granted name suppression.

Police said the charge would likely be upgraded following the death of the teen's alleged victim, Edwin Linder, over the weekend.

Mr Linder, a New Zealander, spent much of his youth in South Africa and lived in Australia during his 20s.

He survived a near-fatal beating outside an inner Sydney fast food restaurant in 2001 in which he suffered brain damage.

His family attempted to resettle him in Whanganui on his return to New Zealand but say he was very determined to make his own way on the streets of Auckland.

Mr Linder, 42, was found badly beaten on Mills Lane about 9am on Wednesday.

He was taken to Auckland City Hospital with severe facial injuries but died on Saturday.

The teenager's lawyer, Siobhan Buckley, successfully argued for the defendant's name and other details around the case to be suppressed, saying defence was "running blind" in relation to the police case.

Both police and the victim's family argued suppression was unnecessary but Judge Anne Kiernan said the name ban would remain until a further court appearance on Tuesday.

It is unclear whether two other men, aged 20 and 18, identified by police on security camera footage taken near the attack, will also face charges.