A man in his 20s has suffered severe burns after it's believed he was pushed backwards into an open fire on a Coromandel beach early on New Year's Day.
The Auckland rescue helicopter was called to Kennedy Bay about 4.30am on Tuesday.
Intensive care paramedic Russell Clark said the man had extensive burns covering most of his buttocks.
Before the helicopter got there, the man was being treated by ambulance staff, who were helping cool him down.
The man admitted he had had a bit to drink, which probably helped eased some of the pain, Mr Clark said.
"The buttocks are quite a senstive area and they were quite severe burns, so even though he'd been cool for some period of time, I think the alcohol was starting to wear off and he was really sore."
Mr Clark said after he was burned, the man got into a nearby stream or creek to try and cool the burns.
It didn't appear they had access to a running water source, like a hose or tap.
But Mr Clark said jumping into a creek did come with some infection risks, given he had open wounds.
After being given some more pain reflief, the man was flown to Middlemore Hospital.
He has since been discharged.
The police said they are investigating what happened and are making enquiries.