A woman was sexually assaulted by two men who grabbed her in a Rotorua park as she was walking home in the early hours of this morning.
Rotorua police are appealing for information about the incident in Kuirau Park, where an area around one of the hot pools has been cordoned off.
The victim, a local woman in her forties, was walking home through the park in central Rotorua after an evening out with friends between 2.30am and 3am when she was grabbed by two male offenders and assaulted.
The incident occurred in an area of the park that was only about 30 metres from Ranolf Street and the roundabout intersection with Arawa Street.
After the attack the woman sought immediate assistance from members of the public who contacted police.
The woman has given police an initial description of two male Maori offenders aged 20 to 30.
Police say she is being interviewed to obtain full details of what occurred and any further descriptions of the offenders.
Police want to speak to anyone who was in the area of the park early this morning, particularly between 2am and 3am, who saw or heard anything suspicious. They also want information on anyone who might be responsible for the assault.
"Stranger attacks of this nature are thankfully incredibly rare and it is important when they do occur that the whole community pulls together with the police to identify the offenders as quickly as possible," said Detective Senior Sergeant Zane Smith.
Police will continue to carry out regular patrols of the CBD and Kuirau Park, he said.
"We are also working with Rotorua District Council to use environmental design principles to improve safety for all of our residents and visitors."
People can assist the police by reporting anything suspicious and taking personal safety steps, Smith said.
"General advice at night, regardless of age or gender is to try to stay as a group, keep to well-lit and populated locations and be extra aware of your surroundings."
There are a variety of personal alarms available on the market that can also provide some extra security and deterrent, he said.
Anyone with information relevant to the investigation is asked to contact Rotorua Police on 07 348 0099. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.