Timaru police are speaking to a man over the alleged abduction of a 9-year-old boy outside his primary school last week.

South Canterbury Area Commander Inspector Dave Gaskin said the man, in his 20s, was being spoken with by police at Timaru police station this evening.

"He is not a stranger to the child, he is known to the child.''

The man was not related to the boy, Mr Gaskin said.

No charges had been laid against the man, he said.

The boy was found bloodied and distressed by a river some 15km from Oceanview Heights school last Thursday.

Police feared he had been abducted and specialist officers have been speaking with the boy, who is still in hospital.

While he was "recovering well'', it's unclear when he would be discharged from Timaru Hospital.

Mr Gaskin thanked the public for information they had provided to the investigating team.

"We've had a large amount of information that's come in and although some people might think that what they've come forward with is minor or of no consequence, by they time you piece it all together, it's been very very helpful.

"A direct result of that is the position we're in at the moment.''

Mr Gaskin said the small team working on the inquiry had worked very hard and would be very proud of the result they were going to achieve.

He understood that the case was alarming to the public.

"But rest assured we don't have some random person wandering around Timaru abducting children.''

Last Thursday the boy was seen at 3.15pm on the corner of Luxmoore Rd and Selwyn St. He normally walked home, police said.

He was found at Holme Station Bridge - a 15 minute drive through winding country roads - about 45 minutes later.

Police would not disclose the extent of the boy's injuries, or say whether a sexual element was involved.

Oceanview Heights school has taken extra safety precautions to make sure their kids get home safely.

Extra teachers were posted at the gates for heightened security yesterday and were talking to anxious parents.