Police continue search after daylight sexual assault at Auckland park

6:10 pm on 18 January 2023
Hiking track in the native bushland of the Totara Park in Auckland.

Photo: 123RF

A woman was hurt with a knife in a daylight attack at an Auckland park yesterday, police say.

The woman was sexually assaulted on the Puhinui Forest Trail in Tōtara Park about 10.25am on Tuesday, police said.

She had stopped at a lookout point on the trail when the incident unfolded, police said.

She suffered a laceration to her neck as a result of the attack, which involved a knife.

Police said the offender fled on foot and police had searched for the person but failed to find them.

They are now appealing for any information about a male who was in the area, described as being in his 20s or early 30s, of chubby build, with facial tattoos, wearing a blue T-shirt and black shorts.

They would like to hear from anyone who may have been in that area between 8am and 11.30am on 17 January, as well as from anyone who may have been taking photographs, or has video footage in the area of the Botanical Gardens or Tōtara Park between the relevant times.

Detective Inspector Karen Bright said this had been an "incredibly distressing ordeal for the victim and we are ensuring there is support in place for her".

"Understandably our community will be concerned by what has happened," Bright said.

"Police reassure them that we are taking this incident incredibly seriously and our investigation team is working hard to apprehend the offender.

"The Botanic Gardens and Tōtara Park are always busy with walkers and it is concerning that this offending occurred in broad daylight."

Police have asked the community to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately.

Anyone with information can contact police via 105 phone service or online using 'Update My Report', reference file number 230117/3643.

Information can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.