A 61-year-old man was killed yesterday after his farm vehicle rolled and crushed him as it tumbled down a bank on a rural property in Central Hawke's Bay.
Semi-retired farmer and father-of-two Bruce Charteris, of Napier, was confirmed as the deceased by police last night.
Police, fire and ambulance attended the scene on Gwavas Rd, Tikokino, just before midday.
Hawke's Bay road policing manager Sergeant Clint Adamson said Mr Charteris had been helping friends on the farm when the four-wheel-drive he was in went over a bank.
Mr Adamson said the vehicle, described as being similar to a mini jeep, had caught Mr Charteris as it rolled.
It came to rest in a small dam on the property.
Police believe he was trying to reverse the vehicle at the top of the bank at the time and went over the edge. It's understood he did not live on the farm and was helping friends to move a large tree.
His wife and adult son travelled to the property yesterday afternoon.
Fire services were initially called out to the address but were turned back before reaching the property.
St John District operations manager Stephen Smith said an intensive care paramedic on the Lowe Corp rescue helicopter and an ambulance from Waipukurau were sent to the scene but found Mr Charteris deceased upon arrival.
Central Hawke's Bay Mayor Peter Butler, who also farms in Tikokino, described the death as "an absolute tragedy".
"He was one of those blokes who was always laughing," Mr Butler said. "Everything was fun. His laugh was infectious - if you heard him laugh, you'd laugh, too."
He said the property in question was still owned by the Charteris family.
Mr Adamson said police would carry out their investigations before referring the death to the coroner.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment had also been alerted.