A 3-year old boy found wandering alone on a Christchurch street today has been reunited with his parents.

A motorist spotted the youngster on Hampshire St, Aranui, this morning.

He was just "a few hundred metres" from his home, police say.

But it's not known how long he was missing.

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"We have no idea how long he was wandering around when we found him," Sergeant Grant Jolly said.

The boy was not distressed but is being given a medical examination.

Other agencies are now involved, Mr Jolly said, as standard procedure.

"While the circumstances of a young child out wandering by themselves is extreme, it's not necessarily a case of neglect," Mr Jolly said.

"It was a simple case this morning, unfortunately, of a bit of an error in judgment, some miscommunication, and an open door that has led to some frantic panic.

"We're very happy with the outcome."