A teenage boy whose head was impaled on a metal stake remains in critical condition in hospital.
The 14-year-old was taken to Starship hospital after the incident in Beachlands, Auckland, late yesterday afternoon.
The chief fire officer for Beachlands, Shane Rutherford, said the boy was conscious and still able to talk throughout the emergency, and was very calm and courageous.
Mr Rutherfod said the stake was embedded at least 10 centimetres into the boy's head.
A fire crew cut off the protruding section using specialist cutting equipment so there would be no dangerous movement.
"The last thing we wanted to do was for the stake to move at all," said Mr Rutherford.
"It was sitting in his head in a very precarious position. We didn't want it to move anywhere, so we made sure that there was no vibration - nothing moved.
"We had to make sure his life was first and foremost in our thoughts."
He had never attended a callout like it. "In my 22 years in the service it's a very surreal call to go to," he said.
There were reports the boy and his friends had been throwing the stake into the air and trying to dodge it, but Mr Rutherford was unable to say how the injury had happened.
He said the 14-yer-old teen had friends with him, and coped really well.