A family and small farming community are mourning the death of an elderly man who was reportedly run over by a tractor.

The 89-year-old died at Palmerston North Hospital after being flown there by the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter on Monday.

Dannevirke police Sergeant Paul Adrian said police were called to the incident in Weber, near Dannevirke about 5pm.

It's understood the man had been hit by a tractor while collecting firewood on a rural property.


The man's name was yet to be released and Mr Adrian said the matter had been referred to the coroner and investigations were ongoing.

A WorkSafe NZ spokesman confirmed the incident had been reported and inspectors were making inquiries to determine whether an investigation should be launched.

A spokesman said circumstances would be clearer after inspectors had completed their initial inquiries.

Federated Farmers Hawke's Bay provincial president Will Foley said it was sad to lose another life on a rural property.

"Farmers need to be aware of their workplace and think about the job at hand," he said.

WorkSafe New Zealand statistics show that between 2011 and 2016 the agricultural sector has had the highest number of work fatalities with a total of 97, with 25 of those involving quad bikes.

Construction is the second highest at 24, one more than forestry which sits at 23.

For 2014, there were 23,900 claims for work-related injuries for the agricultural sector across New Zealand, with 12 fatal claims in agriculture.

There was a total of 13,200 injuries in Gisborne and Hawke's Bay across all sectors in 2014.

In Hawke's Bay there were 159 claims for work-related injuries in 2014, topping all other regions with Manawatu-Wanganui coming in second at 137.

In January a man in Waipawa died after a quad bike accident, and in December two Central Hawke's Bay farmers were killed in quad bike accidents within weeks of each other.

Waipukurau man Aussie Richmond Tuhou, 69, was killed following injuries sustained in a quad bike accident on December 8.

Mr Tuhou died as a result of injuries received in the accident.

Vaughan Reid died on December 17 on a farm near Takapau.

The 62-year-old had farmed in Takapau his whole life, and was well known in the community.