The parents of a five-year-old girl who was brutally attacked in a campground caravan have issued an emotional Christmas Day message thanking New Zealanders for their love and support.
It is the first major statement from the parents, who were on holiday from Europe when their daughter was attacked while she slept in a caravan at Club Habitat campground in Turangi.
She suffered severe facial injuries but is reported to be improving after surgery at Waikato Hospital.
The girl's parents say they have been absolutely and deeply touched by hundreds of emails, gifts and donations from people all over New Zealand.
In the message, the say what has happened is unimaginable but the support they've received has been so incredible it has given them strength.
They say their daughter feels it too and with every hour she feels better and better.
The parents say the love with which the child is surrounded makes her feel safe and that seeing so many peaceful and warm-hearted people gives them huge hope again.
The statement ends: "Dear people of New Zealand, thank you for everything. Kia Kaha, the parents".
Police investigating the attack were continuing to work on the case over Christmas.
A roster system has been introduced for the 30 officers on the inquiry allowing each to spend some time with family and friends as the investigation continues during the holiday season.
A scene examination has been completed. Police say they still want to hear from anyone who hasn't yet made contact.