A priest at Taranaki Base Hospital has been rushed to the emergency department after being stabbed this morning.
It is believed the chaplain suffered a knife wound to his arm in the hospital's chapel about 8.45am, police central communications Inspector Mike Colman said.
New Plymouth Sergeant Bruce Irvine said a large number of police were on the scene investigating the incident and hunting for the offender.
The alleged attacker is described as a male caucasian in his 20s, standing 5'10 tall, wearing a black hoodie, black pants with white stripes and black fingerless gloves.
He has short hair and a tattoo near his left eye, Irvine said.
A hospital spokeswoman said the chaplain was being looked after and is in a comfortable condition.
''He thanks everyone for the good wishes he has received and asks that the media respect his privacy as he recovers.''
- Taranaki Daily News