A man is in a critical condition in Christchurch Hospital after he was attacked at a house party, police say.

The 59-year-old received serious head injuries on New Year's Eve while at a "social gathering" at a house in Runanga.

Dennis Bernard Crozier, 48, appeared in the Greymouth District Court on Saturday after being arrested for the assault.

His lawyer, Richard Bodle, said Crozier did not want to apply for bail because police were still investigating the incident, and assessing the condition of the victim.

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He also had no previous record or offending while on police bail. He was remanded to appear in the Christchurch District Court on January 6.

West Coast criminal investigations manager, Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Woodley, said inquiries were continuing.