Statement to be attributed to Detective Sergeant Pat Yates:
Taranaki Police investigating a sexual assault are seeking assistance from people who were in the vicinity of South Road (SH3) in Hāwera, on Sunday, 9 January, between 6.45am and 8am.
A young woman driving a silver 2005 Nissan Tiida picked up a man hitch-hiking on South Road, on the southern outskirts of Hāwera.
She continued driving south on SH3 towards Pātea.
Just north of Pātea, she was forced to pull over and was sexually assaulted in her car.
Police are seeking information from anyone who may have seen her vehicle or a man hitch-hiking in the area between those times.
Anyone with information should contact Police on 105 and refer to file number 220109/5091, or call Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Please note, this matter is not connected to another investigation involving a sexual assault in New Plymouth on 22 December 2021. This inquiry is ongoing.