A teenager with a fractured pelvis has been rescued from a cliff face at Palmerston North's Pork Chop Hill.

Police were searching for the 17-year-old, and eventually found him on the lower cliff face between Anzac Park and Vaucluse Heights above the Manawatu River.

The City Council's Emergency Response Team set up ropes across the swiftly-flowing water so the victim could be reached.

He was stabilised until St John Ambulance Advanced Paramedics arrived to take over.

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The "despondent'' victim was lowered by rope and stretcher to the edge of the river, and was flown to Palmerston North Hospital by rescue helicopter.