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A hospital chaplain has been stabbed after telling a man attempting to rob him "you can't take God's money".
New Plymouth Police Sergeant Royston Betteridge said the attack occurred about 8.40am this morning at Taranaki Base Hospital.
"At about 8.40am this morning the chaplain was in his office in the hospital chapel.
"He was approached by a male [who] entered the office and demanded the offerings from the collection boxes and during that he was held onto by the offending male who was holding a Stanley or craft knife of some sort," Mr Betteridge said.
The chaplain suffered a couple of minor nicks to his face in the ordeal and also to his arm as he attempted to shield himself from the offender.
The man also used another blunt weapon he carrying to attack the chaplain, Mr Betteridge said.
"He was demanding the money and the chaplain said there was nothing there to take and 'you can't take God's money'."
"He's left with nothing basically."
The chaplain was being treated at the hospital for minor injuries and shock.
His attacker was described as Caucasian in his mid-20's, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants.
The attacker also had a distinctive sun or star-shaped tattoo near his left eye, Mr Betteridge said.
"We're looking for any sightings of any males in the left town hospital area that match that description."
It was unknown if the offender was visiting anyone at the hospital when he attacked the chaplain.