A Hamilton teenager who made up a story that a man tried to abduct her has been referred to police Youth Aid.

Police were disappointed so much valuable time and resources, that could have been used investigating other crime, was instead wasted on the false complaint, Hamilton CIB Detective Senior Sergeant Karl Thornton said.

Earlier this month the 15-year-old told police she was walking near Aberfoyle St after 6pm when a man driving a black ute approached her.

She said he chased her after she refused to get in his vehicle, but she managed to lose him.

Following her complaint, a police inquiry was immediately launched, Mr Thornton said.

"The issue was compounded following media coverage when members of the public were able to confirm a vehicle matching the alleged offender's description was in the area at the time of the alleged attack.

"This led to considerable resources being assigned to what appeared to be a serious risk to the public, in addition media worked with us to try and track the offender."

The girl at the centre of the allegation had been cautioned and would be referred to Youth Aid, Mr Thornton said.

"This is not the first such false allegation we've received, nor is it likely to be the last, what we need people to realise is that when such complaints are made they are all treated as genuine and attract considerable police resources.

"As such any falsehoods are duly picked up and the further down the track the investigation has progressed the more serious the consequences the person who made a false complaint may face," said Mr Thornton."

- NZPA