Family members are praying a man recovers after he was stabbed outside his house in what a relative says was a cowardly late-night attack.
A relative said the 26-year-old staggered home, unaware he'd been stabbed when intervening to help a friend attacked late at night in West Auckland.
The relative said both men were returning home from a party after midnight on Saturday when a group of four gang affiliates followed and "jumped" the friend.
"They were kicking him on the ground. He lost his tooth. They were stomping him."
He said when his relative fought back, a member of the larger group stabbed him near his lung.
"They are cowards. They couldn't handle him."
After the man was stabbed on Kervil Ave in Te Atatū Peninsula, he went home before realising the extent of his injuries.
"He didn't even know, because he was fighting one of them."
Blood was still present on the house's door and through the carpet on Saturday afternoon.
This was where the injured man entered before noticing a wound a few inches deep, the relative said.
"He said 'I got stabbed'. Luckily we reacted fast."
Emergency services were called about 1.15am. The man was hospitalised with serious injuries.
The relative said senior gang members must enforce discipline among their members and associates, to defuse neighbourhood tensions and set a better example.
"Gang members are supposed to be hard men - and they have to bring a weapon? Now the little shits go to other people's houses?"
He said the attack was dishonourable.
"We're civilians. We're not in any gang. They way you're pushing us, we're going to have to join a gang to protect our family."
But reconciliation was still possible, the relative said.
"I'm open to talking, not to the boys, but to their senior members."
The relative said the 26-year-old did not want to "snitch" or go into detail about what happened.
He said some people at the party earlier attended a kickboxing tournament, which went ahead without incident.
But the relative understood a grudge or incident from about two years ago was mentioned at an after-party.
He believed most people involved were drunk by 1am.
The 26-year-old was in Auckland City Hospital on Saturday afternoon awaiting a second surgery, the relative said.
"I don't know what would happen if he died."
The relative understood the second surgery would involve ensuring the young man's internal organs were all right.
He said it was hard to know how to feel, but family members were angry and traumatised.
"You never think it will happen to you."
"I'm thankful to God he survived. I hope with surgery he'll continue to survive."
The relative said a cordon in Kervil Ave was lifted and police left about 1.45pm on Saturday.
Police later on Saturday afternoon said inquiries were continuing.
Anyone with information could phone police on 105 and quote file number 201114/2814.