The daughter of 2010 World and Golden Shears shearing champion Cam Ferguson was among the eight people admitted to hospital after Wednesday's shearing gang van crash in Central Hawke's Bay.

But Mr Ferguson was not involved in the crash - he's been off work since the start of October after breaking two bones in his right leg at touch football.

He was at home when he heard of the crash in which a van carrying 11 people rolled after what CHB policeman Sergeant Neil Baker said seemed to be a minor collision with a tractor on Porangahau Rd, at the the intersection with Lake Rd, near Wanstead. Both the van and the tractor were travelling to the west when the crash happened just before 5.30pm, with eight people, all from the van, being taken taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital in Hastings - three of them were flown by helicopters from Hastings and Palmerston North.

Four were discharged yesterday, health board staff reported, but two were in critical conditions and two were stable, according to hospital staff.


They included just-turned-16 Axion Pene-Ferguson, who, her father said last night, remained in the intensive care unit, having undergone surgery early yesterday morning. It was hoped she will make a full recovery.

Among the others in hospital last night was promising lower-grades competition-winning shearer Liam Quinlivan, 22, understood to be suffering multiple injuries.

The female van driver was not injured and was able to go home from the crash scene, as was the 18-year-old male tractor driver, Mr Baker said.

The shearing gang was returning to Waipukurau after finishing a shed near Porangahau, although not at Mangaorapa Station as earlier reported. They were working for The Shearing Co, the Waipukurau operation of contractors Neil and Anna Waihape, who are currently employing 50-60 people at the height of the shearing season in Hawke's Bay.

Mr Waihape was not in the crash but rushed immediately to the scene and said late yesterday he was concentrating on the wellbeing of his workers and their families.

While the van was wrecked, the tractor was barely damaged and was able to be driven from the crash scene, where police remained until after 10pm, Mr Baker said. The crash happened during one of the busiest weeks of the year for the shearing industry in Hawke's Bay, and raised police concerns about the likelihood the worst injured, thrown from the vehicle, were not using seatbelts.

Mr Baker said yesterday afternoon it was not clear how many in the van were not wearing belts. The investigation continues, but he said victims were yet to be interviewed.

Meanwhile, a female cyclist injured in an unrelated collision with a car near Waipukurau about an hour after the Wanstead crash was also in a stable condition in the hospital.