Two people have been arrested after an English tourist was robbed of her handbag in Gisborne last night.

The woman briefly struggled with the male robber about 10.30pm on Gladstone Road, between Gray and Cobden Streets, police said.

The robber was found in a car about half an hour later by a police patrol.

The 21-year-old Hastings man was arrested and charged with robbery, and would appear in Gisborne District Court today.

A 21-year-old woman from Tikitiki, 20km northwest of Ruatoria, was arrested and charged with being an accessory after the fact.

Police said the victim was not injured and her property had been returned.

She was due to leave Gisborne this morning but had to change her holiday plans to assist with the investigation.

Any witnesses were asked to contact police.