Police have identified the tourist fatally injured on Moutohorā Island as Lionel Nowell.

The 73-year-old Whakatāne man fell seven metres onto rocks below while on a tour of the island. He died not survive his injuries.

Emergency services were called and first aid was immediately provided before he was flown to Tauranga Hospital where he later died on Friday evening.

Police and Worksafe New Zealand are investigating the circumstances of the death.


Whakatāne police confirmed they are investigating the incident on behalf of the coroner but not treating it as suspicious.

A WorkSafe New Zealand spokeswoman said it was notified of an incident which took place on Moutohorā Island last week. While she confirmed it had opened an investigation, it was unable to make any further comment, she said.

Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter airlifted the injured person to Tauranga Hospital which pilot Liam Brettkelly said was a straightforward rescue.

"He just fell off a walking track and landed on rocks below, about seven metres we think.

"We had to winch him out, using the winch from the helicopter. We were only out there for maybe an hour."

The Department of Conservation, which administers Moutohorā Island and its tracks, is also investigating the fatal fall.

Senior community ranger Mike Jones confirmed all tour operations on the island have been suspended until further notice while investigations were ongoing