Key Points:

A man shot in Wanganui on Tuesday night was a 26-year-old skinhead, who still holds fears for his safety.

William Mosen is recovering in Wanganui Hospital's critical care unit after being shot three times in Cornfoot Street in the suburb of Castlecliff.

Mr Mosen, a "nazi skinhead", covered from head to foot in tattoos, said he would not reveal who shot him, the Wanganui Chronicle reports.

However, it was believed fellow skinheads were responsible.

Mr Mosen said on the night of the shooting he had been kidnapped and was shot trying to get away.

"It's not really worth my life or my family's life to say what happened," Mr Mosen said.

He still holds a "few fears" for his safety and has been told "that it isn't finished".

"I can't name the place or the people involved because of the consequences," he said.

Mr Mosen received wounds to his left side and arm, after shots were fired at close range.

He also had injuries from another weapon, which he said were acquired when he tried to wrest the shotgun off the gunman.

Mr Mosen has been in and out of jail since he was 17, and has 66 prior convictions.

Being a "nazi skinhead" was a way of life, he told the paper, and fellow skinheads were like "brothers".

"We just get on with everyone European, Maori, we get on with anybody."

He admitted that sometimes they beat people up.

"I've done it before, but it's not really worth going down that way, with the police."

Mr Mosen had been working as a tattooist since his last stint in jail.

However, because of his own tattoos he had not been able to go into the main shop.

"I was going to go sort of straight, doing tattooing, but they wouldn't give me a fair chance," he said.

His mother, Sandra Walford, who let her son practise tattooing on her to get the job, said she held fears for her own safety.

She said it was a mother's pain "when your child is shot".

- NZPA