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One person hurt in Mahia helicopter crash

One person has suffered moderate injuries after their helicopter crashed while carrying out agricultural work in rural Mahia.

The pilot was the only person on board and was carrying out agriculture work when it went down, a spokesperson for the Rescue Coordination Centre NZ said.

It had been coordinating the response to the crash of the Robinson 44 helicopter.

RCCNZ received an alert from the aircraft’s distress beacon at 6am.

The pilot was flown to Gisborne Hospital by the Hastings Rescue Helicopter, the spokesperson said.

Police received a call at 6.25am that a helicopter had gone down.

A spokesperson said police received the report from St John, which is said to have received a call from a member of the public.

Police said the incident happened “right on the peninsula” and that the closest road they have been given is off Mahia East Coast Rd.

Residents had confirmed the crash happened on a private property south of Pongaroa Rd, however those who lived near the scene didn’t want to comment about the circumstances of the crash.

One Mahia East Coast Rd resident said she heard an ambulance with lights and sirens racing to an accident, along with a helicopter.

At one point a fire appliance pulled up outside her house for a short time before turning around again.

She had since seen the chopper, which she believed to be the rescue helicopter, fly back across the ocean towards Gisborne.

She said although they were remote the emergency services were “excellent”.

A St John central communications spokeswoman said a rescue helicopter, a first response vehicle and an ambulance vehicle were sent to the scene.

The Civil Aviation Authority had been made aware of the crash.

A Rocket Lab spokesperson says the crash is not related to Rocket Lab’s operations and doesn’t involve their team. Rocket Lab has a launch pad on the Mahia Peninsula.

The company was trying to find out more information to see whether it could offer help given the remote location.

“If we can support in any way, absolutely we will,” the spokesperson said.

The reports come less than a day after two people were killed and three others seriously injured in a chopper crash in Kaikōura.

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