A 19-year-old woman has admitted lying about being sexually assaulted in the coastal settlement of Te Awanga near Hastings last Monday.
Police said the teenager was re-interviewed after they conducted inquiries and examined forensic evidence.
"It is very disappointing and frustrating that this young woman falsely reported a crime," Detective Senior Sergeant Dave de Lange said.
"Considerable time and resources were put into investigating this matter at the expense of other investigations."
The woman has been referred to counselling services.
Police said a decision would be made as to whether charges would be laid against her.
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