Police in Tokoroa say an assault on an elderly couple in the town on Thursday night was cowardly.
The married couple in their 70s arrived home to find three men damaging a fence on their property.
Police say when the elderly man asked them to stop he was verbally abused and then hit on the head with a can of alcohol.
They say when the man's wife came to his aid, she was punched in the face and fell to the ground unconscious.
Neighbours came to their aid and the three offenders fled.
Police say the attack on two elderly people at home was despicable.