A teenage girl was stuck for several hours on a cliff near Tauranga before being rescued last night.

Local police and volunteers from across the community helped bring the 17-year-old to safety after she was reported lost in the Omanawa Gorge, south of Tauranga.

"Police, in a combined effort with volunteers from Tauranga LandSAR and the NZ Response Team Tauranga NZ-RT16, set out to try and find the girl," sergeant Craig Madden said.

"Three volunteers and the girl's father began to search from the bottom of the cliffs while other searchers looked along the top of the cliff line.


"The crews at the top made voice contact with the teenager but couldn't sight her so at 6:20pm a volunteer was lowered over the edge on a rope system.

"He soon located her and put her into a harness so she could be pulled up the cliff."

By the time this process was completed and the volunteer was also lifted back up, it was dark and it was no longer safe for the four searchers at the bottom of the cliff to walk out of the gorge.

For that reason, the ropes were then used to pull the four remaining people up the cliff face, Madden said.

"The rescue ended up taking several hours but was completed successfully thanks to a great team effort."

The girl's mother Maree expressed her recognition for the teams that rescued her daughter.

"They are amazing people, especially as they are volunteers taking their time out on a long weekend," she said.