A man has been charged with three counts of grievous bodily harm following a frenzied attack with a meat cleaver that put three men in hospital.
Ngaruawahia man Warren Lloyd Edwards, 39, appeared at the Hamilton District Court today.
He was remanded in custody and is to reappear before a community magistrate on November 1.
The attack in the Waikato town of Ngaruawahia last night has left one man fighting for his life with injuries to his face, neck and shoulders.
Two others received moderate to serious injuries.
Police say the man wielding the cleaver attacked the men while they were drinking outside a group of shops.
"It was a violent, malicious attack," acting Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Patterson told ONE News.
Several people called 111 about the incident and police arrested a 39-year-old man.
Witness Kimberley King stumbled upon the horrific scene when she rushed outside after hearing screaming.
"There was a bit of a fight outside&in the ambulance I saw a guy holding his head," she told ONE News.
Police say the men were known to each other and they had been drinking for some time prior to the incident.
It is not known what sparked the attack.
The arrested man has since appeared in Hamilton District Court on three serious assault charges.
Police are continuing to interview witnesses and the victims and are completing forensic analysis of two vehicles linked to the incident and a residential address on Newton Street.
Several items were also seized when police made the