A four-year-old boy has died after being found in water at the back of a Southland home.

The boy had been reported missing yesterday afternoon from the home, near Brydone.

However, he was later found "in a body of water at the back of the property", police said.

"Emergency services attempted to resuscitate him but were unsuccessful," police said.

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His death has been referred to the Coroner.

The death comes after a three-year-old boy drowned in a Gore District Council wastewater pond last week.

The council is carrying out an "urgent review" of security and fencing at the pond after the death.

Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said the death was "every parent's nightmare".

- additional reporting: Otago Daily Times