Tauranga police are appealing for witnesses after a woman was held at knife point.

A police media spokeswoman said about 8am on Wednesday a man approached a vehicle on Courtney Rd in Tauranga and presented a knife to the victim and demanded their vehicle, a white-coloured Holden Captiva.

"The victim managed to fight off the offender and the offender fled on foot.

"The victim sustained minor injuries and understandably very shaken by the incident. Victim support is being offered to the person," she said.

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The man was described as Māori and was wearing black-coloured jeans and hoodie and his face was covered with a red and white bandanna.

Anyone who was travelling from the Fraser Rd end of Courtney Rd to the Cameron Rd end at the time of the incident or has any information that can assist with the investigation is urged to call police on 105 quoting file number 200805/0191.

Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

The spokeswoman said: "While an incident like this is not common in our community we understand it can be very distressing and we want to reassure everyone we are determined to find the person responsible and hold them accountable.

"Police continue to encourage people to take safety measures when you are inside your vehicle, including ensuring it is locked at all times."

If you see any suspicious activity call police on 111 immediately.