1 May 2014

Home attack 'mistaken identity'

7:55 am on 1 May 2014

A farmer who was called to the scene of a violent home invasion in the Horowhenua believes the attackers mistakenly thought the woman living there had drugs in the house.

The woman fought off two men in her house on a farm at Opiki near Palmerston North on Wednesday morning, suffering numerous cuts to her arms and chest.

Opiki is a tiny settlement with a school and a hall, populated mostly by farming families.

The injured woman's partner is a worker on one of the local farms. He had left for milking early that morning and she discovered the intruders when she went into their living room.

The farmer he works for lives about 100 metres away from the house where she was attacked and said his worker called asking for help at 7.15am.

"She was on the decking by the house, she was just sitting there with lacerations from something short and sharp like a craft knife."

The farmer believed the couple were wrongly targeted for drugs. "They have gone to the wrong place, they were crazed people by the sounds of things," he said.

The farmer said the woman and his worker who have lived in the settlement for almost two years were good people and were not involved with drugs.

He said in the meantime he'll be beefing up security at home and on the farm until the attackers are caught.

Megan Bates is from a dairy farm and has lived in the settlement for the past twenty years.

She said locals were shocked by what happened and it's putting people on edge.

"It's just me and one other girl that live together so a little bit scary that that could happen to you."

Local farmer Jenny Moleta said it was a very unusual situation for Opiki but she was not worried for her own safety.

"These offenders whoever they are are probably well gone, they're not likely to stick around because you'd be fairly obvious in this area if you're a stranger."

One of the attackers was armed with a knife but the pair fled when the other man was stabbed in the stomach with a pair of scissors. The woman who was attacked was later released from hospital.

Horowhenua mayor Brendan Duffy told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme he believes the attack was a isolated incident and does not think the attackers are locals.