A driver was stabbed by a hitchhiker he picked up near Wanganui at the weekend, police say.

The man was travelling to Palmerston North when he picked up a hitchhiker just outside Wanganui at about 8pm on Saturday.

As they came into Palmerston North by the intersection of State Highway 3 and Newbury Line the driver pulled over to let his hitcher out, police say.

The hitchhiker then produced a knife and stabbed the driver several times.

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An ambulance raced to the scene and took the driver was taken to Palmerston North Hospital with multiple stab wounds.

He underwent surgery yesterday.

A 29-year-old man will appear in Palmerston North District Court today on wounding charges.

Police are still investigating and seeking witnesses.

"We are keen speak to anyone who may have been driving past the area of Newbury line around 8:45 pm last night and saw a vehicle parked on the side of the road," Detective Johnny Oram said.

If anyone knows something relevant to the investigation, they are asked to contact Mr Oram on 06 351 3877, or alternatively, information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.