Police are talking to a Timaru man who could be connected with the suspected abduction and assault of a nine-year-old boy.
The man has been taken to the Timaru police station to be interviewed, Mid Canterbury area commander Inspector Dave Gaskin said.
The man was not under arrest.
Insp Gaskin said the "young man" was acquainted with the child but was not a relative, Fairfax reports.
The Oceanview Heights School pupil was found distressed and with facial injuries about 4pm on Thursday near Holme Station Bridge, 15km from the school, where classes finished at 3.15pm.
Police have treated the case as a possible abduction but they won't be able to confirm it until they get full details from the boy about the incident.
Insp Gaskin said they did speak with the boy again on Tuesday, but he provided only a small amount of information.
Investigators would likely continue talk with the boy, but no further formal interviews are planned.
The boy remains in Timaru Hospital in a stable condition, with injuries to his mouth and jaw.He was wearing an Oceanview Heights School uniform when he left the school about 3.15pm.