Two firefighters have been assaulted by drunk bystanders after trying to help at the scene of a car crash.
Fire and Emergency said it was called to a two car crash at Waihi Beach about 7pm last night.
The police said two people were taken to hospital with minor to moderate injuries as a result of the crash.
While there, Fire and Emergency said some intoxicated people gathered at the scene, attacked one of the ambulance officers.
It said two firefighters were punched as they tried to protect the officer, and they received very minor injuries.
The Professional Firefighters' Union said violence against its members was becoming more prevalent.
Its president, Ian Wright, said it was disappointing to hear about the incident.
"We have to deal with contracting cancers at far greater rates than the general population and now we're having to deal with threats of physical violence," he said.
"This sort of behaviour is abhorrent."
Mr Wright said more training for firefighters on how to deal with assault and also better partnerships with the police were needed.
Police said their inquiries into the assault are ongoing.