Police say the 23-year-old was assaulted in Katikati at around midnight.
"I was like, 'Man is this a TV show? Is this guy for real?'" says Katikati Caltex owner Lester Gray. "It looked like a Halloween stunt where people wear those Halloween costumes over their heads, but it was pretty real when he turned around and blood was coming down the side of his head."
That's when what seemed to be a prank became real for customers and staff at a Caltex service station in Katikati.
"He just walked in with the rod in his head and I was just like, 'Is that a drum stick in your head?'" says witness Dylan Shea. "And he was like, 'Nah, it's a rod.'"
The 23-year-old man was allegedly attacked while he was parked up in his car on a suburban street. Police say he was punched in the head and hit with the steel rod.
"The sharp part of the tyre iron was in his temple," says Mr Shea. "He's real lucky, lucky that it didn't go any deeper."