The police in Kaikoura have cautioned a young tourist couple who left their baby in a locked campervan in the town centre last week.
A constable had to smash a window to free the girl, who was fully clothed and strapped into her carseat, with all the windows up.
A Kaikoura Star advertising consultant Kelly Elson said she was at work at about 1pm last Wednesday when she saw the parents comforting their crying baby.
She assumed they had taken her with them, so she was shocked to see they had left her in the van in the heat of the day, and called the police.
"They got in, and got the baby out. She was very red because she was still fully clothed. And her hair looked quite damp.
"But thank goodness, okay. At the end of the day, a window can be replaced can't it, all that matters is getting that baby out."
Ms Elson said she estimated the child was left in the vehicle for at least 20 minutes in the heat of midday.
"I just felt a bit sick actually because, you don't know what's going to happen to the baby, because they can't really regulate themselves at that age.
"So you shouldn't even leave an animal in a car, let alone a baby. So, you know, very aware of what can happen."
The parents, who were tourists from Germany, arrived minutes later and received a warning for their actions, but no charges were laid.
The baby did not require medical treatment.