The woman who died at a house party in Christchurch has been described as a "beautiful soul" and a caring and loving mother to her 3-year-old son.

Police were called to an address in Avonhead Rd, near Yaldhurst Rd in Ilam shortly after midnight on Sunday.

A woman died following an altercation at the property - her death was being treated as a homicide.

Police have not yet formally identified her - but family told Fairfax she was 32-year-old Alicia Robinson.

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Father Paul Robinson told Fairfax he believed his daughter was in an altercation with another woman at a party when she was stabbed.

Robinson had one son, aged 3. Relatives told Fairfax she was a "caring and loving" mother.

Paul Robinson's wife, Missy, said the family was "absolutely devastated".

"All her family here in Nelson and Te Puke will dearly miss her presence."

Facebook tributes are already flowing for the victim, described more than once as "a beautiful soul".

"I feel so broken," said one. "I wish you had of just taken the offer to come out with me instead of me having to lose one of my closest friends."

Another said: "The moment i got the txt the sun ran away."

An Avonhead Rd resident, who did not want to be named, said she returned to her home about 10pm on Saturday to a party next door.

"There was a lot of people just talking outside and a bit of music."

An hour later she heard fireworks.

"Then everything started to get quieter and we went to bed and I didn't hear anything,"
she told Fairfax.

The woman said she woke on Sunday morning to find her neighbour's home was a crime scene.

"It seems like something has happened in the driveway, we can see some tarpaulin down there."

A scene examination is continuing today with 20 investigators gathering evidence, speaking to witnesses and liaising with the victim's family.

At this stage police said it was likely an isolated incident and there are no safety concerns for the general public.

Police would like to hear from anyone who was in the Avonhead Rd area at around 12am who noticed anything out of the ordinary.

Information can be shared with Christchurch Police on 03 363 7400 or anonymously via CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.