A search and rescue is underway for a 28-year-old English man who has been missing at Paparoa National Park since Saturday night.

Paparoa National Park is north of Greymouth on the west coast of the South Island.

The man, who had been on a working holiday in New Zealand for three weeks, was lightly clad and only carrying a day pack.

Police were notified about the missing man about 8.45pm on Saturday after he did not return from a walk up Mt Bovis. He had set off from Punakaiki at 8am that morning.

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Two helicopters and 15 ground searchers are involved in the search.

His family are travelling to New Zealand and are due to arrive tomorrow.

West Coast area commander Inspector Mel Aitken said: "Helicopters with heat-seeking devices and committed ground teams with a huge amount of expertise are involved in this search.

"Our thoughts are with the family at this time, as we continue our best efforts to reach a positive conclusion to this rescue."