Police in Canterbury are hunting a person who shot at a community patrol volunteer with a paintball gun.

The female volunteer was sitting in her vehicle during a night patrol when a paint pellet struck her in the head.

"She was sitting in a car at the time with another volunteer and was hit in the forehead through an open window.''

The incident happened on Charlotte Jane Quay near the Naval Point launch ramps in Lyttelton, Christchurch, about 9.30pm last Friday.

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Inspector Richard Bruce, area prevention manager for Christchurch Metro, said police were treating the matter as "extremely serious".

"Community patrol volunteers do a great job for the community and it's not right this would happen.

"The volunteer was really shocked when this happened.''

Police said a black hatchback vehicle was seen leaving the area at the time of the incident.

They appealed to anyone who may have seen it or know anything about the incident to contact police immediately.

**Can you help? Call Christchurch Central Police (03) 363 7400 or CrimeStoppers 0800 555 111