A 37-year-old man trying to help a younger man who was being beaten up was put in hospital overnight after also being attacked by a group with a plank and a bed head, police say.

Senior Sergeant Fred van Duuren said the first victim, a man in his 20s, was attacked after speaking to a group of two to six people about 4am in the Kelvin Rd area of Maraenui, a Napier suburb.

When the older man intervened, he too was set upon by the group.