A man is in a critical but stable condition after suffering a neck injury when he dived into a Western Bay of Plenty swimming pool yesterday.

The 38-year-old plunged into the pool in Te Puke last night.

The Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter was sent just before 8pm and had to use night vision goggles to fly.

The Fire Service cordoned off a nearby local park for the helicopter to land.

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St John paramedics stabilised the patient and drove him from the scene to the park.

The seriousness of the injury meant the man had to be flown to Middlemore Hospital's spinal unit.

A Middlemore Hospital spokeswoman said this morning the man was in the hospital's intensive care unit in a critical but stable condition.