A teenaged schoolboy has been punched and robbed on a Tauranga bus.

A young man asked for the schoolboy's headphones, and when he said no, the man counted down from five, punched the victim in the face once and then took the headphones.

Senior Sergeant Stu Graham, of Tauranga, said the 16-year-old victim was on a Bay Hopper bus on his way home from school about 3.30 pm on Monday, when the robbery took place.

The youth and two associates got on the bus outside Countdown Supermarket on Cameron Rd, and sat at the back of the bus behind two unknown male passengers.

It was one of those men who carried out the robbery.

The offender was described as a Maori, 18 to 20 years old, with short black hair. He had green black tattoo on right side of his neck, with swirly writing script, and was wearing a black tee shirt and carrying a black hoodie. He had a baseball cap worn backwards, dark sunglasses and was wearing a watch on his right wrist

The offender's associate was described as a male Maori, with long curly black hair wearing a bulky jacket and jeans.

Mr Graham said police want any witnesses or people with information to contact them.