A German tourist who was shot while hunting near Gisborne on Christmas Eve has been transferred to Auckland Hospital's critical care department.

The 23-year-old was hunting goats in rural Waihirere on Tuesday afternoon when he was shot in the chest at close range by a high powered rifle, police said.

He was initially taken to Gisborne Hospital in a critical condition, but was transferred to Auckland overnight, a hospital spokeswoman said.

His parents had arrived in the country from Germany, she said.


An Auckland Hospital spokesman said the man was now in a stable but serious condition.

Police had spoken with two members of the hunting party, but it was not yet known if charges had been laid.