A Wellington woman jammed a carving knife in her front door in an unsuccessful attempt to stop a man breaking in and assaulting her.

But Danelle Stella told Fairfax the man, whom she knew well, used a swipe card to get into her Boulcott St apartment, then held her hostage for an hour.

She told them he held his hand over her nose and mouth at times, until she was able to break free and call police.

The man was thought to be armed with a knife or a baton, Fairfax reported.

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Armed police and a dog unit were at the apartment this morning after reports of an assault.

They showed up about 8.50am, and were speaking with the people involved, a spokeswoman said.

Nobody has been seriously injured.