A Wellington taxi travelled back and forth around the regions for hours with the terrified driver stuffed in its boot.
An Auckland man has been arrested following the incident in which the taxi driver, who was parked and waiting for work about 2.30am, was assaulted and shoved into the boot of the vehicle.
Detective Sergeant Richard Gibson said the taxi was then driven from where it had been parked on the Jarden Mile in the Ngauranga area to the Hutt Valley, Porirua and the Wellington suburb of Newlands, where it spent "a lot of time".
The seriously injured driver was set free in the suburb of Grenada Village a couple of hours after the attack, and is still recovering in hospital.
The taxi was recovered not far from where the victim was let free.
Police are yet to officially interview him, but he is now in a stable condition, Gibson said.
A second vehicle was used in the offending. It can be seen in CCTV footage driving with the taxi at the beginning and the end of the offending.
Police found one of the alleged offenders after executing a search warrant and discovering a man in possession of the victim's coin dispenser, eftpos card and cellphone.
The 24-year-old man police arrested is not believed to be the same person captured in images by the taxi camera. Police are still looking for that person and are following "strong lines of inquiry" as to his whereabouts.
Gibson said the police focus at the moment was supporting the victim's family until the victim was able to speak to police about his harrowing ordeal.
"We're just keeping an open mind about what their motive was . . . it appears just an isolated incident."