An 8-year-old Christchurch boy was rescued after a six-hour search around the Waiuta area, near Reefton last night.

The boy went missing about 11.30am while walking with family on the tracks surrounding the historic West Coast mining village.

The boy was found by a member of the public on Snowy River Rd, north of Ikamatua, about 7pm.

He had walked about 3km through dense scrub and forest.

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Land Search and Rescue volunteers from Greymouth, Hokitika and Westport responded, including a LandSAR dog team and cave search team.

A Greymouth rescue helicopter assisted search efforts from the air, and the Department of Conservation provided expert local knowledge.

Members of the public also provided valuable assistance in the early stages of the response, mobilising quickly to aid the search effort.

The boy was unharmed during the incident and has been reunited with his relieved family.

Police said in a statement they are grateful for the efforts of the local community and LandSAR volunteers.