A Dunedin woman is undergoing surgery after she was attacked in her City Rise home this morning.
Detective Inspector Kevin Hooper said the woman was stabbed in the neck and face and suffered associated bruising after she answered a knock on the front door of her Duncan Street home about 8.30am.
The victim's three-year-old daughter was in the house at the time but she was not harmed in the incident.
Det Insp Hooper said the woman managed to fend off the assailant and left the address with her daughter.
Snr Sgt Kelvin Lloyd said this morning a passing motorist took the woman to Dunedin Public Hospital.
Det Insp Hooper said the man was described as being European, around 6ft tall with short hair and facial stubble. He was wearing jeans and a black hoodie.
The woman did not know him.
Police are examining the scene and an ESR team has been called from Christchurch to help.
About 20 police staff are working on the inquiry.
Police are keen to speak with anyone who noticed a man matching the description of the assailant in the Duncan Street area between 7am and 9am.
People living in the area should search their properties and contact police if they find any items that may not belong to them.
People can contact the Dunedin Police on 03 471 4800 or provide information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.