A Wellington taxi driver fears getting back in his cab after he was shot in the shoulder by a passenger who refused to pay a fare.
Police are still hunting for a couple after the driver was shot in the suburb of Miramar on Saturday night after taking them from the central city.
The man pulled out pistol and shot him when he refused to get out of the taxi, the driver, named Alem, originally from Ethiopia, told Radio NZ from his hospital bed.
"I don't even care about the fare. I never asked them, but I do care why I be shot. Why?"
Alem, whose right shoulder was broken in two places where the bullet went through bone, told the broadcaster he was scared to get back into a taxi.
Police are yet to release a description of the man and woman they are seeking over the shooting.
They have been going through CCTV footage and examining the car.
They are also appealing for sightings of the white Capital Taxis Toyota Camry, and potentially the offenders, on Stone Street about 9pm.
The fare dispute escalated to a "staggering level of violence", Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Leitch says.
"This type of crime is unusual for Wellington and we want to reassure the community that police are focused on finding those responsible and recovering the weapon," he said.
The male driver was shot in the shoulder while he was in his taxi on Stone St in Miramar about 9.10pm, police said.
The taxi driver had taken a man and a woman from Courtenay Pl to Stone St where the dispute happened.
He managed to drive to a nearby service station where he was able to get help.
He was then taken to Wellington Hospital with moderate injuries.
Capital Taxis Director Tim Lauagiagi said a driver getting shot on the job was unacceptable.
He said this sort of thing doesn't usually happen in New Zealand and he was working alongside the police to find the people involved.
Lauagiagi says the taxi driver had been working for the company for more than five years and is a very experienced driver.
• Police are seeking sightings of a Capital Taxis white Toyota Camry sedan and a man and a woman on foot on Stone St between 9pm and 9.15pm. Police ask anyone with information to contact the enquiry team via 04 381 2000. Anyone who has information but wishes to remain anonymous can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.