A New Zealand man has been jailed in Australia after a judge found he violently shook his newborn baby, giving him traumatic brain injuries, because he was "not manly enough".

James Tipene, 33, was jailed for six years on Friday by Victorian County Court Judge David Brookes.

Tipene shook his 5-week-old baby boy unconscious in a rage, after the boy woke him up crying early on June 26, 2018.

The boy, born in May, suffered bleeding to his brain, seizures, oxygen deprivation and spinal injuries, as well as injuries to his eye.

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His mother found him cold and unresponsive, with his open eyes rolled back, the Daily Mail reports.

Tipene was found to have lied about the baby's injuries to paramedics and doctors. He said he went to feed the baby and found him unresponsive in his cot.

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He then lied for another three months, until police secretly recorded him admitting the assult to his partner in September last year.

The baby boy had to undergo surgery for bleeding on the brain. He still can't crawl and may suffer lifelong brain damage.

Tipene blamed the assault on his violent upbringing. He said he was taught that "men don't cry" and the crying baby was "not manly enough".

"It's like this rage, it has nothing to do with [the baby], it's like he has to be a warrior, a man," he told police during an interview.

He pleaded guilty to recklessly causing serious injury and other unrelated charges.

Tipene expressed fears of being deported to New Zealand and leaving his family in Australia.

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The judge accepted that he was ashamed and remorseful. He also found that mental health problems at the time of the offending interfered with Tipene's ability to control his behaviour.

"Your offending is against the very core duty of any parent to nurture, care for and protect their children," the judge said.

"A parent should always put their own needs second to that of their child," he added.

Tipene will be eligible for parole in 2023 and may be deported to New Zealand upon release.