'Loved husband, father and brother' - man who died after yesterday's helicopter crash near Waiouru named

A man aged in his 40s who died today after a helicopter crash near Waiouru in the central North Island yesterday has been named.

Renata Apatu was the co-owner of 28,000-hectare Ngamatea Station in Hawke's Bay, a popular hunting and fishing ground and a respected sheep and beef station.

Nat Every from Taupo's Greenlea Rescue Helicopter says they called in reinforcements when they found multiple injured people. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Apatu, known as "Ren", represented New Zealand on the world stage as part of the Campaign for Wool NZ, and in 2016, met Prince Charles in England at a conference promoting wool.

Hawke's Bay District Hospital confirmed the death of a man in his 40s in a statement today.

The family have released this statement via the hospital: "He was a hugely loved husband, father and brother, and much loved by all his wider family and friends".

"His death is a tragic loss not only to his family but the wider farming community, and to all those who knew and loved him."

Phillipa Wright, a close friend and Wright Wool general manager, said he was "a young man taken too soon" and "will be a huge loss to the community".

Five people were on board the Helicopters Hawke's Bay aircraft, which was taking part in a commercial survey.
Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Wright said Mr Apatu was not the pilot of the helicopter that crashed.

Two men, one in his 40s and another in his 30s remain in a serious but stable condition in Hawke's Bay Hospital's intensive care unit.

Friends say Ren Apatu was a much-loved family man and well-known Hawke's Bay businessman. Source: 1 NEWS