A 9-year-old Rotorua boy is fighting for his life in Starship Hospital after being hit by a bus.

The boy was believed to have been riding either a child's scooter or a skateboard when he hit the side of a bus while crossing Ranolf St in Rotorua about 11am yesterday.

Sergeant Tony Bennett told The Daily Post the boy received a severe knock to the head causing a brain injury. He was rushed to Rotorua Hospital's emergency department before being flown to Starship where he was in a critical condition in the intensive care unit last night.

Reesby Buses director David Reesby confirmed a CityRide bus was involved in the incident near the town's skate park. A female driver and two passengers on board were not hurt.

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The driver told him she had been slowing down before an intersection when she heard a bump as the boy collided with the door of the bus.

"It's pretty awful. She's shocked. We all really feel for the parents," Reesby said.

The driver believed the boy was riding a skateboard, but other media have reported he was riding a push scooter, Reesby said.

"The skateboard, or whatever it was, was totally demolished."