A man was left unconscious and with serious injuries after a group of people attacked him in Nelson, early on Sunday morning.
Police said the "prolonged assault" happened as the victim was walking home alone through the city at about 3am on Sunday.
A group of 6-10 males and females confronted the man at the corner of Bridge and Rutherford streets.
Detective Sergeant Alex Brunning said the victim was knocked unconscious during the attack and suffered a fractured left cheek bone. He was flown to Wellington Hospital for corrective surgery.
Mr Brunning urged anyone who may have witnessed the attack or knew anything about it to get in touch with police.
• Can you help? Call police on (03) 546 3840 or CrimeStoppers anonymous on 0800 555 111.