A man has been charged with indecent assault after a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted at a makeshift campground for Wildfoods Festival visitors to Hokitika.

Police said security staff at the Wadeson Island campsite "discovered the incident in progress" about 4am yesterday.

Watson said it was not a rape, but an indecent assault.

A 20-year-old Christchurch man was arrested in Hokitika several hours later. He will appear in the Greymouth District Court tomorrow.

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The complainant, aged 21, was also from out of the district.

"The victim is receiving support from family and Victim Support."

Police worked hard as soon as they received the complaint and were therefore able to make an arrest before the offender had even left town, Mr Watson said.

The accused has been released on police bail.

- Greymouth Star