A teenage German tourist has been taken to hospital after a vicious attack yesterday morning left him with a severely broken jaw.
The 18-year-old and his friends were staying at the Napier Waterfront Lodge and Backpackers on Saturday night when the altercation occurred.
A witness, who did not wish to be named, said she saw a car across the road from the Marine Parade backpackers when she went outside about 2am.
The woman said two men, described as male Maori, got out of their car and became involved in a fight with two German backpackers in the entrance to the hostel.
She said she could not see what started the fight but saw it spill out onto the road.
"He [one of the backpackers] was punched to the ground and then he got up and tried to stop them getting away and he was beaten against the side of the car."
The offenders then got back into the car and sped off.
Hawke's Bay Today understands the offenders took off with cellphones and passports belonging to the two men but the passports were recovered later the same night.
"Another backpacker went to try to help them," the woman said.
"I asked some people from our hostel to drive to the hospital and called the police and the ambulance."
She then went with one of the German men to the police station while the other was taken to hospital. The 18-year-old was listed as in a stable condition last night with a severely broken jaw. It is understood he will undergo surgery tomorrow.
The owner of the Napier Waterfront Lodge and Backpackers said she was "gutted" by the incident and hoped the offenders were caught. "It's a very rare occasion, nothing like this has ever really happened here at all.
"It's to a really good guy too, they were just coming back from the Thirsty Whale.
"They're two innocent guys, I'm sure they wouldn't have aggravated any situation."
The woman, who did not wish to be named, said the incident was not good for the image of New Zealand.
"It's not good for the tourists, not good at all - come to New Zealand and get beaten up."
Police said they were investigating the incident.
"We had a couple of street robberies overnight and that was one of them," Acting Sergeant Brent Smith said.
"It will be investigated as far as we can."
In an unrelated incident two French tourists were attacked in a Westshore carpark after deciding to sleep in their van for the night just over a month ago.
A 22-year-old man was pistol whipped before the pair managed to scare their attackers off.
A 27-year-old woman was arrested in relation to the incident however she was unable to appear in court due to a pre-existing health issue.
For more articles from this region, go to Hawkes Bay Today