An Australian woman remains in a critical condition in hospital today after a quadbike crash only days after arriving in New Zealand.

It is the second serious quadbike incident this week after a 10-year-old boy was killed at a farm in Wairarapa on Wednesday.

The Australian tourist, 38, who is thought to have been in the country for only a few days, was airlifted to Auckland City Hospital yesterday afternoon.

She suffered a serious head injury when she crashed at Klondyke Rd, Onewhero.


Bruce Kerr, an advanced paramedic on the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, said the woman was lucky her quadbike rolled on the road and not down the steep hillside that dropped "hundreds of feet to the bottom''.

It took the rescue helicopter more than an hour to retrieve the woman after struggling to find an area to land in the mountainous terrain.

"She did have a helmet on but it looked more like a bicycle helmet than a full motorcycle helmet. It was sort of a hard plastic material but of course it doesn't cover all of your head,'' Mr Kerr said.

"It's also possible that the quadbike rolled over her. They are extremely weighty machines and that would have caused quite an injury.''

Mr Kerr said there was a group of about six other quadbike riders with the woman and they appeared to have been on a type of tour group.

The Counties Manukau serious crash unit is investigating and police were last night attempting to contact the woman's next of kin.

The death of the boy on Wednesday sparked calls for a review of the safety regulations for quadbikes.

Sam White, the son of a sharemilking family, was found under a bike about 1km from the farm gate by his father on the property in Featherston at 10am on Wednesday.

It was the third quadbike death this year, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Chief Coroner Neil MacLean said at the time that safety messages around the use of quadbikes could go a long way to preventing utterly unnecessary deaths.