The Equestrian Hotel in Hornby has been robbed, with thousands of dollars stolen and a long-serving employee badly shaken.
The hotel was robbed last night at 9.50pm, when all but one of the employees had gone home.
General manager Kevin Smith said the intruder broke into the building by removing a pane of glass in the function centre, before moving through the reception area.
He said the glass could have been removed hours in advance of the robbery, and the man could have been hiding somewhere inside the hotel.
The intruder had waited until bar and kitchen staff went home before he jumped the reception counter and forced the female employee into the back area where the safe was kept.
''He timed it pretty well,'' Smith said.
Smith said due to extra turnover during the long weekend, thousands of dollars was taken.
The man did not appear to have a weapon, but forced the employee to the ground and held her down while he emptied the safe.
Smith said the employee had worked for the hotel for more than 20 years and was ''badly shaken up''.
She had been the victim of an armed robbery at the same hotel some three years earlier.
Police are appealing for help from the public. The offender is described at stocky and 172-178cm tall. He was wearing a long sleeved, thigh length orange hi-vis jacket, blue jeans and black shoes.
Smith said the man had a hood over his head obscuring his face.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Christchurch Police (03) 3637400.
Information can also be provided anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- The Press
Which memorial design do you like most?Related story: Christchurch earthquake memorial designs unveiled