A nurse has had her cheekbone broken in an assault by a patient at Hawke's Bay Hospital.
She was treated for the injury and sent home to recover on Monday.
Hawke's Bay District Health Board chief executive Kevin Snee said the organisation had zero tolerance for violence, adding that police and hospital security would always be called to support staff in dangerous situations.
"This was an unprovoked attack that has left one of our staff with a nasty injury,'' he said.
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"We want to get the message out to patients and visitors that we will take action and assault charges will be laid against patients or visitors who hurt or abuse our staff while they are at work.''
Dr Snee said clinicians should not have to put up with being assaulted or verbally abused in any way.
"It is unacceptable and won't be tolerated.''
The nurse did not want to speak to media.