Police in Canterbury are seeking a man they describe as unpredictable and with a violent history.
Detectives want to speak to Luke James Henry, 31, in relation to a serious assault on a woman in the Christchurch suburb of Hoon Hay overnight.
Luke Henry has been seen driving a red Subaru Impreza, but also has a red Mazda Familia hatchback registered to his name.
Detective Sergeant Chris Power said Luke Henry was aware police were looking for him and he seemed to be actively evading them.
"He has a lengthy history of violence and so it's hard to know how he will react, if he is approached he's unpredictable, and given his history of violence we don't want anyone to take matters into their hands, just to contact us and we'll deal with him."
Mr Power said Luke Henry had vacated an inner-city apartment in Christchurch and could be as far north as Nelson by now.