A New Zealand man found under a bridge with a broken neck, back, ribs and burns to nearly half his body was attacked after rejecting the advances of a man who has a wife and children, the victim's husband has claimed.

Maioha Tokotaua, 33, found his "mangled" husband, Joth Wilson, unconscious under a train bridge in Gladstone, Queensland, in the early hours of New Year's Day.

As well as broken bones and burns, the 25-year-old's critical injuries include a brain haemorrhage and a severed spinal cord - making him unlikely to ever walk again, Daily Mail reports.

A distraught Tokotaua told Daily Mail Australia that he believes his husband was attacked after a married man who propositioned him started to fear he may tell his family about his advances.

Advertisement

Tokotaua, who has been keeping a vigil at Wilson's bedside for the past five days, said: "There were these guys who had been harassing us for some time after one of them, who is married with children, made an advance that Joth rejected.

"There's no money involved, no drugs, no debt, there's just no motive for the attack other than they were intimidated that we might tell their families."

Wilson, originally from Palmerston North, remains on life support after Tokotaua found him under the 8m high bridge about 2am on New Year's Day.

Wilson had headed out to buy cigarettes at about 11.45pm on December 31 so the couple could have one final smoke before giving up as a New Year's resolution.

But when Wilson did not make it back in time for midnight, Tokotaua went searching for him.

"I found him after two hours, on the train tracks. He looked mangled," Tokotaua told Daily Mail Australia from a hospital in Brisbane.

At first he thought Wilson had tried to commit suicide, but he then realised that his husband's hat and wallet were missing, suggesting he had been robbed.

Police believe Wilson's burns may have come from a power line above the train tracks, but Tokotaua disagrees.

"His burns appear to have come from a chemical or lighter fluid that has been poured on him and set alight," he claimed.

"He has burns to his face and body. The third degree burns are on his torso while those on his face are more superficial.

Joth Wilson headed out to buy cigarettes at about 11.45pm on December 31 so the couple could have one final smoke before giving it up as a New Year's resolution. Photo / Joth Wilson Facebook
Joth Wilson headed out to buy cigarettes at about 11.45pm on December 31 so the couple could have one final smoke before giving it up as a New Year's resolution. Photo / Joth Wilson Facebook

"It was a gay hate crime."

As well as the burns to 40 per cent of his body, Wilson has a broken neck, several spine fractures, four broken ribs, a severed spinal cord, and a brain haemorrhage.

Wilson is in a critical but stable condition on life support at a hospital in Brisbane and his husband says he has been told to not expect much progress in the next two weeks.

Tokotaua asked Daily Mail Australia to not name the hospital Wilson is being treated at for fear of reprisals.

The couple, who had been visiting family and travelling along Australia's east coast, have been married for three years, tying the knot after gay marriage was made legal in New Zealand.

They have three adopted children and have also helped to raise a total of 15 foster children, Tokotaua said.

The pair, from Taranaki, would have been heading home next week to be with their children if it was not for the horrific attack.

Queensland Police are yet to make any arrests and are still investigating.

Gladstone police Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Lindsay said how Wilson ended up at the bottom of the bridge.

"The investigation of a third party being involved is still being investigated."