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Police are seeking information about a knife possibly linked to the hold-up of two Dutch tourists in the small western Southland town of Tuatapere early yesterday morning.
"We have located a filleting knife close to the scene which may be related to the incident. If any one has information about where the knife originated from we would like to know about it," said Detective Sergeant David Nelson of Invercargill Police.
Police confirm that the female victim has been raped and have released a broad description of the attacker.
"Although it has been difficult to describe the offender because his face was covered, we are able to say that he has a 'square-shaped head' and is believed to be olive-skinned Caucasian or light-skinned Polynesian or Maori."
Police are still in the area today speaking to locals.
The tourists, a 22-year-old female and 25-year-old male, were attacked early yesterday at 6.40am (Thursday 15 January) in a Tuatapere camping ground.
A male offender entered the vehicle the two tourists were sleeping in, threatening the occupants with a knife and raping the 22-year-old female.
The victims are being very well looked after in the traditional Southern way, and by other agencies including Tourism New Zealand, Victim Support, the Holiday Parks Association and the Dutch Embassy, said Detective Sergeant Nelson.
They plan to continue their trip around New Zealand, he said.
People with any information should contact their local police station or Detective Dave Nelson at Invercargill Police on (03) 211-0400.