A woman has been left feeling "violated" after her North Shore home was robbed by her house sitter.
Michelle, who did not disclose her last name, flew to England in May after she received a call from her sister, who told her their mother had been diagnosed with cancer.
"I packed a bag, grabbed my 2-year-old and booked flights."
The 40-year-old had a friend look after her home for her until July, when she realised she would have to stay longer overseas.
"In a bit of a panic, I put a notice on [a local community] Facebook page to ask if anyone could house-sit and feed my cat for me."
Michelle said a woman sent her a private message offering to look after her house.
"I had actually met her once before, she'd made a birthday cake for my daughter, and in my mind, I thought anyone that makes pink birthday cakes for girls must be trustworthy."
Michelle said she had her friends pack her personal items into boxes and store them in her room for her before the house-sitter moved in.
The 35-year-old woman moved in with her young daughter in July and "kept in touch" with Michelle while she was there.
Michelle said everything "seemed fine", until last week, when she informed her house-sitter she would be returning home.
"I got a message from her saying something had come up . . . Looking back, I think it was all a bit of a ploy. By the time I got the message that she was leaving, I was at the airport and there was nothing I could do."
Michelle said she arrived home last Sunday to find "thousands of dollars worth" of her things stolen.
"I didn't notice it straight away, because most of my personal things were packed in boxes, but then I noticed my lamp was gone."
The Torbay resident said she went to have a shower, only to find her towels weren't there.
Michelle said it had taken a week to "actually realise" how much was gone.
"She was very selective. She's taken at least $6000 worth of stuff."
Among the stolen belongings were clothing, kitchen utensils, bath towels and toys.
"It's little things, like kitchen scissors, frying pans and cook books . . . The thing is, if she'd have asked me I would have helped her if she was in trouble."
Michelle said her house-sitter had also taken her daughter's savings tin she had started with over $600 in it, and "barely fed" her cat.
"He'd lost a kilo and was covered in sores, which cost me $390 in vet bills."
The North Shore resident has been left feeling "very naive" and "a bit stupid".
"I don't feel safe at home. I feel violated."
The 40-year-old said the worst part was her house-sitter was aware of why Michelle and her daughter were overseas.
"She knew my mum had cancer, that it was a bad situation, so to do that is just really upsetting. It's taken up so much of my time, processing this week.
Michelle said despite the ordeal, members of the community Facebook page had been "very kind".
"We've had lots of random strangers turn up to give us things, which is very nice of them."
The single mother said it had been a learning-curve for her.
"You don't know who's on these sites, and that's the scariest thing. I worry that she could use different names, or set up another page on Facebook."
North Shore Police acting inspector Scott Cunningham confirmed the matter had been reported to police and was under investigation.
Insurance Council of New Zealand chief executive Tim Grafton said homeowners must tell their insurer about any change in circumstance that could affect the risk of protecting their assets.
"For house and contents insurance the insurer needs to understand what the home will be used for, and who will be occupying it."
Grafton said this included renting out properties to house-sitters.