A young girl was being cradled in her mother's arms after sustaining serious injuries in a fall from a hotel balcony in Queenstown this afternoon.
The incident happened at the Novotel Queenstown Hotel on Marine Parade just after 2pm.
The girl appeared to have fallen about 4m from a second-floor balcony, but landed on grass next to some concrete, an Otago Daily Times reporter at the scene said.
She was taken to Queenstown's Lakes District Hospital emergency department in a serious condition, a police spokeswoman confirmed.
An eyewitness, Jose Lacambra, of Argentina, said the girl was lucky to escape more serious injuries.
"She nearly fell on the concrete, but was very lucky.
"I heard her mother screaming. We went over and were holding people back. It was a little girl. She was crying a lot - crying a lot.
"But I think that was better, because before ... "
Emergency services were called at 2.04pm and an ambulance rushed to the scene. Firefighters also helped paramedics as the young girl was taken to hospital.
Another person, who declined to be named, said the girl seemed to be okay after the fall.
"She was okay - nothing broken, I don't think.
"She was in her mother's arms. A good result, really."
The girl appeared to be about 5 years old, the witness added.
Accor and Novotel Queenstown said in a statement they were saddened that a child had been injured in a fall earlier today.
"Our thoughts are with the child and their family at this difficult time, and with those who witnessed the incident," the statement said.
"We appreciate all the efforts made by the hotel team and the emergency services who responded.
"We also extend our sincere thanks to members of the public who were nearby for their assistance.
"At this time we also ask for your patience in order to allow the authorities the time required to investigate this incident."