An investigation is underway into a dog attack in which a seven-year-old girl suffered life-threatening injuries in the Bay of Plenty.
The girl was taken by rescue helicopter to Rotorua Hospital after being mauled by four dogs in Murupara and was later transferred to Middlemore Hospital in Auckland where she remains in a critical condition on Monday night.
Police said the child was playing outside that afternoon when she was attacked by Mastiff-type dogs belonging to the property's owner.
The helicopter was called by the Murupara Medical Centre. Pilot Art Kowalski said about 90 percent of the girl's face has been damaged. She also has injuries to her arms, legs, hip and pelvic area.
Senior Sergeant Brendon Keenan said it is a distressing time for the family and the investigation is in its early stages.
Mr Keenan said the girl was at a friend of the family's house and engaged with one of the dogs. He said the animals have been put down.