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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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".

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

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

Source: 1 NEWS

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.

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