A 48-year-old farmer has died after being trapped under a tree he was trying to fell near the Waikato town of Otorohanga.

Emergency services were called to the property on Honikiwi Rd at about 11:50am. They found the dead man, later identified as Grant Martin, trapped in his 11-tonne builder and excavator under a fallen pine tree.

Ambulance officers declared him dead at the scene.

Police said the 40m tree fell earlier than expected after a hole was dug around it.


Police inspector Cornell Kluessien said the man looked to have died as a result of the impact of the tree on his excavator cab.

Emergency services were still working to lift the tree from the excavator and free the dead man, he said.

Department of Labour investigators were at the scene.