Police have begun a search for a missing hunter on Stewart Island.

Sergeant Ian Martin said a hunter was reported "overdue" on Stewart Island this morning.

"The 74-year-old man was last seen around 6pm last night when he went out for a hunt, but failed to return," Martin said.

A rescue helicopter was sent to the island after the hunting party activated their personal locator beacon.

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"Police were notified by Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) around 9am this morning," Martin said.

It is now a land search operation for the missing man.

The search area is in the vicinity of Port Adventure, which is approximately 20km southeast of Halfmoon Bay.

A helicopter has dropped LandSAR volunteers to the search area this morning and further volunteers are on their way by boat.