Ashburton police are investigating a home invasion in which three armed men confronted a women at a rural property near Hinds.
Detective Sergeant Jennifer Hooke says police were called to a home at McDougalls Road at 7.30pm on Tuesday.
A woman in her 20s said the men forced their way inside, struck her in the face and held her at gunpoint while they ransacked the house.
The men, aged about 28 to 30, told the woman they were looking for a person they believed lived there.
Ms Hooke said they then left in a vehicle that had been left idling outside, which may indicate that a fourth person was involved.
The woman waited for about an hour before calling for help. She has minor injuries that did not require medical attention.
Police say one of the men is described as Pakeha with short, shaved hair, of stocky build and had an unshaven face.
The second is described as Pakeha, with sandy brown hair styled in spikes, possibly with a thin moustache. He has a mole on his lower left cheek.
The third is described as Maori, with straight black hair and a closely shaven beard but no moustache. He was wearing a black T-shirt with the words 50 cent and the image of a chain in faded gold lettering.