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A teenager has been dragged into a car by three women, beaten and then dumped on the side of the road outside the eastern Bay of Plenty town of Opotiki, police say.

It was one of two serious incidents in the region early on Sunday, Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Standen said.

The young woman, aged 17, had been involved in an argument with the three older women before she was abducted around 5am, he said.

"The victim was set upon and suffered injuries to her face and body requiring medical treatment.

"The attackers then allegedly drove the victim to a location outside the township and left her on the side of the road."

Police officers from Opotiki and Whakatane had found three women who were being spoken to but they were seeking information from anyone who was out and about early on Sunday in Opotiki, he said.

Soon after at 5.18am in Kawerau, a man broke into a home and attacked a 32-year-old woman asleep in a bedroom. Other members of the household were sleeping in an adjacent room.

"The man sexually assaulted the woman before being forced off during a struggle," Det Snr Sgt Standen said.

The intruder, in his 30s, fled and has not yet been found.

Police have completed a scene examination and an investigation is under way.