A Hastings man has been arrested after a 55-year-old man was seriously injured in an alleged assault at a Hastings house yesterday afternoon, police say.

The man, 53, is in custody at the Hastings police station and will appear in Hastings District Court on Monday charged with assault.

The victim was transferred to Wellington Hospital from Hawke's Bay Regional Hospital, and is in a critical condition with head injuries, Detective Senior Sergeant David de Lange said.

A spade found during a police examination of the house in Kiwi Place will be inspected to see if it was used in the assault, he said.

- NZPA