'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



Generous Kiwi bloke swaps a dream trip for All Blacks tickets for 12 lucky kids

Twelve youngsters will be on hand to see the All Blacks take on France in Wellington tomorrow night, thanks to the generosity of an Ōtaki man.

Seven Sharp reports Dave Newman was the lucky winner of New Zealand Rugby's 12 days of Christmas competition - the prize a trip of a lifetime to watch the ABs play anywhere in the world.

But when the shock wore off, Dave had an altruistic idea - what if his prize turned into tickets for 12 kids to go to a match instead?

Now Dave will join his new young friends to watch the game at Westpac Stadium.

"These kids when they get a bit older perhaps they will look back on it and think 'we did that'," Dave said. 

And that's not all.

The kids have been to NZ Rugby HQ for a really big surprise - a meet and greet with their All Black heroes, and even a biff around with the ball.

For the whole story, watch the video above.

Ōtaki man Dave Newman won a trip to watch the ABs play anywhere in the world, but he had other ideas. Source: Seven Sharp

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'Just absolutely ridiculous' - families in isolated valley near Kaikōura still waiting for bridge repair, 18 months on

Families say they are living in isolation in the Clarence Valley, north of Kaikōura, after the bridge to their homes was destroyed in the November 14 quake.

Families say they are living in isolation in the Clarence Valley, north of Kaikōura, after the bridge to their homes were destroyed in the November 14 quake. Source: 1 NEWS

Nearly 18 months later, the bridges still have not been replaced and the only way in or out involves crossing a dangerous stream.

Poor weather this week has once again prevented resident Gavin Clark from returning home.

"This is the biggest rain we've had in a wee while and now. This will take another two days to go down and it'll be another two days until we can actually get back in again," Mr Clark told 1 NEWS.

Crossing the Wharekiri Stream is still the only option for six families, after the Glen Alton bridge over the Clarence River was destroyed in the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake.

"I've lost one truck already," he said.

The only way in and out of Clarence Valley involves crossing a dangerous stream. Source: 1 NEWS

"One of my neighbours very nearly got caught here the other day."

While residents are still hoping for a temporary bridge to be installed, the Kaikōura council has not been able to find an affordable option.

"The earthquake's caused some significant and complex issues up in the valley with the change of the river course," explained rebuild director Will Doughty.

"It would be fantastic to just be able to get the army in and roll out a bailey bridge, but the complexities that we're finding is, you actually have to almost go to the same level of engineering and design because of the ground conditions, as for a permanent solution."

The council is now focusing on a long term plan, with a business case due in October.

But some residents argue there are still valid options on the table which should be explored, including putting a bailey bridge downstream of where the Glen Alton was.

"We definitely need a bridge of some sort so we don't have to put up with this," Mr Clark said.

"This is just absolutely ridiculous."

The council said it will revisit temporary options once it finalises its current plan and is committed to maintaining access across the Wharekiri Stream.

However, Mr Clark is wary of what may happen if a solution is not found soon.

"We have two diabetics up here. I'm lucky I'm only Type B, but my neighbour is Type 1.

"If we have an emergency, I don't know how the ambulance would ever get in here."

The only way in and out of the Clarence Valley involves crossing a dangerous stream. Source: 1 NEWS