Three months after Warren MacKenzie was attacked in a home invasion he can still vividly remember his attacker's eyes.

"I will never forget his eyes and that stare," he said. "He had terrible eyes, I have never seen eyes like that before."

MacKenzie, 71, was enjoying a temperate winter's night on June 17 when he said an unknown offender entered his Mataura home and demanded money.

"This guy appeared in front of me and he was wearing a hoodie.


"I said I didn't have any [money] so he began screaming and using very strong language.

"After telling him for a second time that I didn't have any money, he went to go away and I thought he punched me in my shoulder and upper chest. It wasn't until I sat down again that I realised I had been stabbed."

MacKenzie received two stab wounds to the left side of his chest and recalled packing them with his shirt and tea towels to stem the blood flow while he waited for emergency services.

"I was in total shock and went totally flat. I was just wondering whether I was going to die or not."

MacKenzie was taken to Southland Hospital where he spent two days in intensive care and another two days in a general ward before being discharged.

Doctors told him he was lucky to be alive, with the weapon missing a main artery by 2-3 millimetres.

Warren MacKenzie says he's not a stabbing
Warren MacKenzie says he's not a stabbing "victim" - he's a stabbing "survivor". Photo / Police

MacKenzie said the attack left him frustrated, tired and he now suffered from anxiety.

"The physical wounds are healed now but the mental and emotional scars are still there.

"I feel as if I have been flattened, absolutely flattened. But really I am a strong person and I am not going to let this person ruin my life.

"I don't look at myself now as a stabbing victim, I look at myself as a stabbing survivor."

MacKenzie said his friends, family and the local community have rallied around him.

"When I was in hospital my friends came to me and said they wouldn't let me stay in the flat again, so now I am living with them."

He said he only returned to the flat in order to move his belongings. He also planned to move to Dunedin to live closer to his family.

Southland Police launched a public appeal for the offender and visited more than 80 homes in the area, but were unable to find him.

MacKenzie will appear on tonight's episode of Police Ten 7 in the hope it will draw out vital information needed to help solve the near three-month-old case.

"It is going to resurface the whole thing but when [police] asked me whether I would mind going to air and giving an interview, I said I would do everything I can to catch this individual."

Detective Sergeant Greg Baird of the Invercargill CIB said this was an unprovoked and violent assault.

The offender is described as male, aged over 30, with light-coloured skin, was unshaven, about 177cm tall (5 foot 10), and wearing a grey hoodie and dark pants.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Invercargill Police station on 03 211 0400, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Alternatively, tune in to Police Ten 7 tonight at 7:30pm on TVNZ2.