A New Zealand trans woman is in intensive care, after she was savagely attacked by a group of unknown men.

Anahera Rangitaawa, 33, was reportedly attacked by three men between midnight and 1am on Saturday, in Palmerston North, while on her way home from a quilting exhibition.

The woman suffered multiple fractures, including her skull, cheekbones, shoulder blades, and eye sockets.

She is currently in intensive care in Wellington Hospital, with her condition described as stable, but according to reports has not woken up.

One eye may be permanently damaged, and she will require facial reconstruction surgery.

Detective Johnny Oram said: “Over the next few days we will be speaking to local business owners as well as reviewing CCTV footage in the area which will hopefully give us a clearer picture of how the victim has sustained their injuries.”

Family member Scott Engebretsen told Stuff that he believes the attack was a hate crime, and not a robbery, as Rangitaawa was still carrying her purse.

A police spokesman added: “The injuries the victim sustained are currently unexplained and we will not be drawn into speculation about how they were sustained.

We are monitoring the victim’s condition and have not yet spoken to them.”

Her aunt, Esther Topfer wrote on Facebook: “I am saddened and appalled that in the 21st Century ignorant, judgemental and evil people can smash a person to within an inch of their life for … being who they are.”