A man taken to hospital with a bone protruding from his leg and "serious lacerations" was most likely involved in a hit-and-run, police say.

He was found on Dowling St, Dunedin by an off-duty nurse about midday yesterday.

Sergeant Steve Aitken of Dunedin police, said the driver of the vehicle had "disappeared" by the time police arrived.

He was transported to Dunedin Hospital by police as no ambulances were available at the time, Mr Aitken said.

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"We still need to locate the owner of the vehicle so we can have a chat with him. If anybody did witness [the hit-and-run], we would certainly be keen to talk to them."

Anyone with information should contact Dunedin police on 03 471 4800, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.