A good samaritan has been assaulted and robbed near Queenstown after stopping to help their attacker on Saturday night.
Police are appealing for information as they investigate the "cowardly" attack.
At 10:30pm, the victim stopped on Crown Range Road at the Eastern Road layby to help a man who was signalling for assistance.
After stopping, the man asked the victim to check his car for problems. He then punched the man several times before stealing the victim's backpack and driving off.
The victim is now waiting for surgery on a fractured jaw.
Officers say the man was around 1.8 metres tall, has a stocky build, is likely in his late 20s or early 30s and was driving a dark four-door saloon.
"This was a cowardly attack on a well-meaning person who was trying to help someone he thought was in need," said Detective Sergeant Derek Shaw from the Central Otago CIB.
The victim was able to drive to a family member's house, where police were called. He was taken to hospital.
The offender may have stopped in the Queenstown/Arrowtown area or in Wanaka either before or after the assault, Shaw said.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 105, quoting file number 210327/4376.
Information can also be provided via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.