Just days after hitting Kiwi soil, Frenchman Anthony Cressend was attacked by strangers at a Northland campsite - left battered and bleeding on the ground with a thrice-broken jaw and kicked-in teeth.
Police told him they would not investigate without a Kiwi contact number.
"As soon as I said that [he did not have a New Zealand cellphone] the [officer] flipped over his book and said 'Well we can't call outside of New Zealand cell zone'," said travel companion Emily Holloway, 24.
Is increased violence damaging NZ's image abroad? Here's the latest selection of Your Views: