A man suffered serious and extensive burns after he was pushed into an open fire in the early hours of New Year's Day at a small Coromandel settlement.
Emergency services were called to Kennedy Bay, 14km northeast of Coromandel township, at 4.30am on January 1 after the man was injured.
Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter intensive care paramedic Russell Clark said the man was in an ambulance being cooled down with saline when his crew arrived.
"As far as we know he was pushed backwards into an open fire on a beach area," he said.
"He managed to get himself into a creek and emergency services were called.
"He had quite extensive partial thickness burns predominantly to his buttocks region and some to his lower legs and one of his hands.
"It was quite serious, and quite extensive as well."
Clark said it appeared the group the man was with had been drinking before the incident.
The helicopter crew transported the man, in his 20s, to Middlemore Hospital which houses the National Burn Service.
Clark said while getting in the creek was a good idea to cool down the burns, they were effectively open wounds and the risk of infection was extremely high if the area was exposed to bacteria.
The Herald has contacted police to ascertain whether the incident is under investigation or if any charges will be laid.