A woman has died as a result of a workplace incident at a sawmill in Kawerau.
The mill confirmed the death of "someone very close to us" in a statement early this afternoon.
The death had been referred to the coroner and WorkSafe has been notified, a police spokeswoman said.
Emergency services were alerted to reports of a person trapped under a pile of timber at a commercial address on Manukorihi Drive at 11am.
Just hours later, Sequal Sawmill executive director David Turner gave an emotional statement outside the site.
"It was someone who's very close to us all so it's very painful," he said.
"Obviously, we're co-operating with the necessary authorities around the investigation but at the moment we're really focused on the team and the family.
"Our focus is to support the team."
St John and Police also attendanced.