Police are hunting a man who raped an elderly woman in her Rotorua home early today.
The woman, in her 70s, was woken by the man breaking into her house at 3am.
Rotorua police detective sergeant John Wilson said the man assaulted and raped the woman before running off towards the Rotorua lakefront.
He described the attacker as a male Caucasian, of solid build, with a No 2 haircut and sandy coloured hair.
He was wearing a grey or khaki coloured t-shirt and black track pants.
"It was a shocking crime involving the violation of a defenceless elderly woman," he said.
He appealed to anyone with information to contact police.