A Port Waikato man says one eye "popped out" after he was hit with a Maori war club and knocked unconscious outside his house.
Reweti McKinnon, 34, said he was set upon after asking a group of three men to stop doing car burnouts metres from his front door on Tuesday night.
The burnouts had terrified his elderly parents, who lived with him in the house.
He was in a serious but stable condition in Auckland's Greenlane Hospital after surgery.
Speaking from hospital last night, Mr McKinnon said he was hit by a patu during an argument outside his Maunsell Rd house.
He suffered a deep cut to his chest and had temporarily lost the sight of one eye from blows to the eye socket and head. Doctors told him he may not be able to see out of the eye for several months.
Three men, including one armed with a patu, came on to his property about 6pm after he asked them to stop doing burnouts, Mr McKinnon said.
"They said they were going to kill me. I told them to leave us alone but they really cut me up. I took a blow near my heart which knocked me unconscious."
The same group had rammed their car into his fence and trees doing burnouts near his house last weekend. He had told the group, who did not live in the town, to stop.
"It was just reckless driving outside my house at 2.30 in the morning. They use the area as a drag strip, they were metres from my house. My parents were very scared, my father is 83 and my mother 78."
The return visit on Tuesday was for revenge, he said.
There had been a continuing feud with the group over "land issues".
"They have tried to evict us, and they hassle us, it is never-ending."
Counties Manukau police spokeswoman Ana-Mari Gates-Bowey said the incident stemmed from an earlier altercation during the weekend in which a vehicle was damaged.
A man and two youths appeared in Pukekohe District Court yesterday charged with assaulting Mr McKinnon. They were remanded on bail to appear again tomorrow. More serious charges may be laid, police said.
The accused were granted interim name suppression.
Police interviewed Mr McKinnon last night. A weapon had been found but they would not confirm it was a patu.
Port Waikato residents said the small settlement southwest of Auckland had few problems with boy racers or hoons.
"It's usually peaceful and quiet, a lot of retired people live here in baches," said Lorraine Grant, who has lived in the town for 22 years.
Another resident said Mr McKinnon was well known in the area for Maori land rights.
"He's not an aggressive person, he says `Hello' when he sees you.
"He's a sensible soft-spoken guy."
Teenagers sometimes drove on the grass verge near the beach.
"He [Mr McKinnon] has tried to get them to stop before but I guess there is only so much you can put up with and he probably had enough of it."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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