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A police spokeswoman said the man, aged in his 70s, was climbing near the top of Rapaki Track in the Port Hills when he fell.
The man was flown to Christchurch Hospital in a critical condition, but died a short time later from his injuries, said a police spokeswoman.
Emergency services were called to the scene at about 9.40am on Sunday.
The man’s death has been referred to the coroner.