A woman attacked in the Dunedin home she shared with her three-year-old child is undergoing surgery.
The woman was attacked at her Duncan St, City Rise, adddress about 8.30am, after the victim answered a knock at her front door.
Detective Inspector Kevin Hooper said the woman suffered stab wounds to her neck and face, as well as bruising.
''This is a very serious potentially life-threatening incident and police seek the assistance of the Dunedin community and wider public for any information that may assist this investigation,'' he said.
Her three-year-old daughter was home at the time but was unharmed in the incident. The woman managed to fend off her assailant and left the house with her daughter.
A passing motorist took her to Dunedin Public Hospital, where she is being treated.
The woman did not know her attacker, who is described as light-skinned, about 6ft tall (184cm) with short hair and facial stubble. He was wearing jeans and a black hoodie.
A scene examination was underway at the woman's address. ESR have been called in from Christchurch and would also assist with the police examination, Mr Hooper said.
Police were seeking information about any suspicious activity in the area between 7am and 9am this morning, he said.
''It may be that members of the community have noticed someone who matches the general description of the assailant, who was acting unusually or out of character either before or after this time.''
People should contact the Dunedin Police or the anonymous Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555 111.
The police are yet to speak fully with the victim and will do so when she recovers.
Police also ask people living in the Duncan St area to search their properties and if they find any items that may not belong to them to report it to the police.
Some 20 police staff are working on the inquiry.
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