An Indian couple on honeymoon in Rotorua say they've lost all trust in New Zealand's police after their car was broken into and their passports and phones stolen - but police say they did everything they could to help.
Just after 8pm on March 25 Hemant Manglani and Baani Sachdev Manglani lost almost all of their valuables, passports and phones when their car, parked at a local tourism destination in Rotorua, was broken into.
After being told staff at the location had called police about the break-in about an hour earlier they called police themselves about 9pm.
"To our shock, they responded by saying that they were having a busy day dealing with 'more important crimes' and that someone would attend to us when they got free," Mr Manglani said in a Facebook post that has been widely shared.
He said they called police back at least three times and got the same answer before another Indian couple tracked their phones down with the "Find My iPhone" app.
Mr Manglani said he had to plead with Rotorua police to go to the address provided by the app, and they eventually did, but found nothing.
The couple then visited the Rotorua Police Station only to be told it was closed and then said they waited an hour before someone came to speak to them.
They were eventually offered help by Victim Support and said they were told to make their way to their pre-booked accommodation in Taupo for the night.
The couple said they were told they could follow a police van to the Taupo hotel and the next day found their phones were traced to a location about five minutes from the hotel.
They said they told the police, who followed up the tip and found nothing.
"We were told that since this was not an emergency - [that] our lives were not in danger at that time - the police couldn't take action, assuming that a crime was going to be committed."
In the post he said the entire incident "has forever tarnished our honeymoon memories - something that can never be replaced".
"We have financially been put back by approximately $20,000 including cash, tangible assets, expenses and losses.
"We are emotionally scarred for life and this incident has set in us a fear of travel and injustice.
"Above all, you have tarnished your reputation - in our eyes and in the eyes of everyone who reads this article - as a safe country to ever visit again."
Mr Manglani said New Zealand was a beautiful country with some wonderful people but authorities "failed us miserably".
"The lack of attempt, empathy and promptness is what has left us with a very bitter taste."
In a statement, Rotorua Area Commander Inspector Anaru Pewhairangi said police "were unable to attend right away as we were attending several priority matters at that time".
He said police went to both locations provided to them by the Manglanis, but failed to find their possessions.
"Police are continuing to investigate this theft, including reviewing CCTV footage in the area and following up on reports of suspicious vehicles in the area around the time of the break in.
"Victim Support services were offered to the couple, but were declined.
"Crime prevention advice was also provided," Mr Pewhairangi said.
"Further to that, because they no longer had mobile phones, police also arranged for them to follow a police vehicle to Taupo to ensure they could find their way to their next destination.
"Each call and each case has to be assessed and prioritised on the information available to police at the time."
Mr Pewhairangi encouraged anyone who had concerns about how police dealt with their report to contact them.