A specialist cliff rescue team has been called in to recover the bodies of two men who died in a helicopter crash near Whangarei.

Police said due to the steep and difficult terrain the LandSAR cliff rescue team from Whangarei were sent to the Glenbervie Forest about 8.30am today.

They were accompanied by a seven-strong Search and Rescue police team who had been to the crash site yesterday.

It's believed the helicopter that crashed shortly after 2pm yesterday went into native bush on a hillside about 200m below the ridge line.


"Due to the nature of the terrain and location of the wreckage this could take some time," police said.

Once removed, they will be taken to Auckland where a post-mortem will be completed.

Formal identification is yet to take place however police believe they have identified the deceased and are currently in the process of ensuring all next-of-kin have been informed.

The Civil Aviation Authority will be arriving in Whangarei today and will be taken to the site to begin their investigation into what caused the Robinson R44 to crash.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has opened in inquiry into the helicopter crash.

Two investigators are on their way to the scene.

The purpose of the Commission's inquiry will be to identify the circumstances and causes of the accident with a view to helping prevent a recurrence.

The Commission's inquiry is separate from the work of other agencies, such as the Civil Aviation Authority.