Residents of Paptoetoe have told how they saw a woman gagged and bound with ropes tumble out of a car boot on Huia Road, though police have so far said only that she was thrown from the car.
A Middlemore Hospital spokesperson said this morning that the woman was in a critical condition in the intensive care unit and "causing concern".
One of the first people to see her said she was frothing at the mouth and unable to breathe from ties around her neck.
Resident Apoorva Nayak said the woman, who looked to be aged around 40 and was wearing a wedding ring, had ties around her legs, arms and neck as though she had been kidnapped.
Senior Sergeant Amber Stobie said last night the woman was thrown from what was believed to be a silver sedan on Huia Road about 7pm.
"She's been rushed to Middlemore Hospital in a critical condition.
"I can tell you that her injuries are very serious."
Josie Deans, who lives nearby, was told a woman driving behind the silver sedan saw an Asian woman with her hands, her legs and her throat bound with ropes, fall out of the boot on to the road.
"She wasn't thrown out, but she was tied up with a rope around her neck and she escaped from the back of a boot.
"Her hands were tied up, her legs were tied up, rope around her stomach, around her neck."
Clifford Garsid, who also lives on Huia Road, said a family driving behind the silver car saw the woman jumping out of the car's boot.
"There was a lady in a car with her husband and three children following a car.
"The boot opened and a lady fell out of the boot.
"She opened the boot to escape, fell out in the middle of the road."
Mr Garsid said police arrived within a couple of minutes and the woman, covered in blood, was rushed from the scene by paramedics.
Police last night were searching for the car, and carried out a major operation in the area. Officers blocked access to the nearby motorway from the western side of East Tamaki Road with patrol cars.
At daylight this morning, Huia Road was still closed and cordons were in place at its junction with East Tamaki Road and Stonex Road while a scene examination took place.