Metrosideros perforata is a climber growing up to 50 ft (15 m) high, or a bushy shrub. The leathery green oval leaves are 0.25–0.5 in (0.6–1.2 cm) long, the leaves when young tend to lie in one plane. The small white or pink flowers are carried in small clusters; summer.
Metrosideros perforata is found in coastal to lowland forests and forest edges, North Island, South Island and Three Kings Island, New Zealand. When a tree is not available to climb, it forms a shrub-like mound.