A 75-year-old woman was violently assaulted, allegedly by a relative, at an East Auckland rest home yesterday.

The woman was visiting a family member at the home in Botany when the attack occurred around lunchtime.

The alleged offender was visiting the same person.

"The victim was viciously assaulted. She was punched, kicked and stomped on. She was initially in intensive care," said Detective Sergeant John Love.


"Fortunately, her condition has improved slightly and she is now stable. She has
facial fractures and other injuries, though, and will remain in hospital."

Residents saw police cars and an ambulance at the retirement village known as the "Howick Hilton".

"We didn't see what happened," said one woman, who did not wish to be named.

"We did hear it was a family thing."

She believed the incident had happened in the care centre and not inside the independent apartments at the retirement village.

"It must have been pretty bad for the police and ambulance to turn up."

Another resident, who also did not wish to be named, said the incident had shaken the residents.

"Understandably people would be concerned, but it is a very secure place. The people would have been in here visiting somebody so it's different from being raided by someone rushing off the street."

Police would like to speak to 45-year-old Rangi Joseph Harris. They describe him as "a person of interest".

They say he should not be approached by members of the public.

Harris is believed to be travelling in a silvery-grey 2008 Kia Sportage, registration ESJ406.

He has links to the Counties Manukau, Sandringham and Freemans Bay areas.

Anyone who sees Harris or knows where he is should call 111 immediately.

Anyone with further information on the assault is urged to contact the Counties Manukau crime squad on (09) 261-1321 or to call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800-555-111.