A man is dead after he was struck by a vehicle west of Nelson last night.

The man, in his 20s, was walking along Te Mamaku Drive near Mapua when he was fatally hit about 10.25pm.

The driver of the vehicle wasn't injured and they were helped by police at the scene.

A police statement says shortly before the man was struck, they received reports about a cyclist in dark clothing riding along the same road in a manner that worried a passing motorist.

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"A bicycle was located a short distance from where the pedestrian was struck and killed and enquiries reveal that the cyclist and pedestrian are one and the same person," police say.

The man's death has been referred to the coroner and police will release his name when his next of kin have been contacted.

Nelson police are appealing for anyone who might have seen the man cycling down Te Mamaku Drive or The Coastal Highway last night to come forward, and they would like to a speak to a truck driver who was travelling along the drive about 10.20pm.

Detective John Nicholls can be contacted on 03 546 3840.