Boy, 8, found after straying from West Coast track

An 8-year-old Christchurch boy has been rescued and is unharmed after a six-hour search around the Waiuta area, near Reefton.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Police are grateful for the efforts of the local community and LandSAR volunteers."