Police in the Hastings suburb of Flaxmere say an intruder who entered children's bedrooms in two homes is probably a local man.
A 10-year-old girl in a house in Margate Avenue home was woken by a man at about 4.30am. A hand was put over her mouth, but she managed to scream and her father and brother chased the intruder over a back fence.
A short time later, a man entered a house in Yarmouth Road, exposing himself to three young girls in a bedroom.
Police say the man fled when the girls, aged between 10 and 11 years, banged on the bedroom walls to alert family members.
The intruder is described as Maori, with a thick moustache and short curly hair, wearing dark pants with a gray and black sweatshirt.
Detective Glen Yule says the police believe the offender lives in Flaxmere and are appealing for information.