The police are talking to a man after complaints from tourists at a popular campsite near Tauranga.
Detective Sergeant Darryl Brazzier said a tourist sleeping in his van at McLaren Falls was woken by a man trying to steal his van. After a short struggle the would-be burglar ran off.
However, a man approached another tourist 30 minutes later and demanded the keys to her car.
She refused but the man stole some of her property before running off.
Mr Brazzier said the tourists had been left traumatised but unscathed.
The police are speaking to a 28-year-old man.