Dunedin police are appealing for help identifying the man believed to be behind a serious sexual assault which happened early Sunday morning.

The assault was one of two to occur within the central city around that time, the other being a violent assault.

Police believe they are close to arresting someone over the violent assault but need help identifying the perpetrator of the sexual attack.

At approximately 5.30 on Sunday morning following the rugby test match, a man wearing women's clothing, carrying a jacket and handbag, was sexually assaulted by another man.

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The offender is medium to athletic build, with long dark hair and is believed to be Maori or Polynesian.

Both the victim and the offender walked from the Octagon along George St to where the attack took place in the vicinity of the Captain Cook Hotel and the Rob Roy Dairy.

Police want to hear from anyone who may have seen anything useful to their investigation.

People with information can contact Dunedin Central Police on 03 471 4800 or can report anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.