A Good Samaritan volunteer firefighter who was brutally bashed underwent surgery yesterday to insert 12 metal plates in his shattered face.

Peter Fisher of Martinborough was assaulted on Broadway on October 28 after helping some young people eject an unwelcome visitor.

His brother, Paul Fisher, said yesterday's five-hour surgery at Hutt Hospital was done by five surgeons, including renowned plastic surgeon Swee Tan.

"He now has 12 titanium plates in his face and four screws. The only thing intact was his jaw bone. That guy messed him up really bad," Paul Fisher said.


His brother's recovery had been nothing short of a miracle, he said, and eight days ago the family did not know if he would live or die.

Peter Fisher was recovering in intensive care yesterday, and although the family were relieved to hear the surgery had been successful, they did not yet know yet what further surgery would be needed.

His father Brian said his son was recovering faster than expected but the family was concerned about some paralysis on his right side and brain damage which may take months to heal.

He said although his son would be set back a bit after this surgery, he had been able to talk the last few days.

"This morning he was talking quite freely ... he's not having long conversations but he's making himself understood," his father said.

Brian Fisher said he had the utmost respect for the Martinborough Fire Brigade, of which Peter was a member, who have been rallying behind the family.

Martinborough Fire Brigade chief Garry Jackson said Peter was coming along leaps and bounds, and had maintained his sense of humour.

"He's a very strong guy, and he's got the will to live," Mr Jackson said.

Around $1800 had been raised to support the Fisher family.

Donations can be made to BNZ bank account, Martinborough Fire Brigade, Peter Fisher Fund, 02-0680-0009251-067.

Milton Haira, 25, unemployed, had a charge of assault upgraded to wounding when he appeared in Masterton District Court yesterday over the bashing.

Four other charges of common assault and one of threatening to kill, in relation to the same incident, were also laid.

Defence lawyer Louise Elder did not apply for bail and Haira was remanded in custody until December 3.