Do you have any information on this morning's crash?
Prime Minister John Key is cancelling a planned 10-day trip to the Middle East in order to attend the funerals of three Air Force personnel killed this morning and commemorate the loss in Parliament.
He has been in Gallipoli for Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli and was due to travel to Bahrain and Kuwait.
He hoped to be back in the country by Tuesday morning and to attend the men's funerals.
This afternoon, the Air Force named the three men who died when an Iroquois helicopter crashed on its way to Anzac Day commemorations earlier today.
They were 28-year-old Flying Officer Daniel (Dan) Stephen Gregory, a pilot; 33-year-old Flight Lieutenant Hayden (Muddy) Peter Madsen, also a pilot; and 25-year-old Corporal Benjamin (Ben) Andrew Carson, a crewman.
Air Vice-Marshal Graham Lintott identified the three men at a press conference in Ohakea this afternoon.
"Today we remember those who lost their lives doing their duty at Gallipoli 95 years ago, and now we must add the names of three more who have lost their lives in the service of their country," he said.
"I am immensely proud of our young flyers and all those in our Air Force family. Our family is strong and close and we will all feel this loss keenly."
He said it was too early to speculate on what had happened on the early morning flight. However, a thorough and professional investigation would be undertaken.
"But for today, I would like to ask you all to join with the Air Force family in wishing the crewman a speedy recovery while remembering three wonderful young New Zealanders who this country can be truly proud [of]."
A fourth man who was hospitalised following the accident has not yet been identified.
Air Force spokesman Kavae Tamariki said the man remains in a serious condition.
He is believed to have a dislocated knee and chest injuries.
Prime Minister John Key said he was saddened and devastated by the loss of three New Zealand personnel he had flown with and knew personally.
Mr Key, who is in Gallipoli to commemorate the 95th anniversary of the landings there by Australian and New Zealand forces, said he was informed of the accident early this morning.
"I am shocked and saddened by this tragic event. My thoughts are with the families of the victims, the family of the injured man, and the entire New Zealand Defence Force.
"To have this happen when the helicopter was heading to Wellington for an Anzac Day flypast is an absolute tragedy.
"I am sure that all New Zealanders will join with me in offering the families of the victims, and the Defence Force, our deepest condolences."
Defence Minister Wayne Mapp told NZPA the news was a "devastating blow".
"It's a heavy blow, particularly on this day of all days... My aroha goes out to the families. You can't imagine."
Dr Mapp and Associate Minister Heather Roy intended to head to Ohakea tomorrow after people had had a chance to take in the news.
Dr Mapp apologised for an earlier comment at an Auckland service when he said four were dead rather than three, which was based on information provided by the Defence Force.
"We don't feel good about that. I certainly apologise for the hurt that may have caused."
Labour leader Phil Goff said today was a very sad occasion for the country.
"The Labour Party's thoughts go out to the families and friends of those who died and to the seriously injured person and their family," he said in a statement.
"Anzac Day is a day of sadness and poignancy for New Zealand and for this crash to occur today adds to this feeling."
Meanwhile, Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway said the crash would have an enormous impact on the tight knit Ohakea community.
"I know the community will rally to support those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy."
Herald writer Claire Trevett, who is with the New Zealand delegation to Gallipoli, says the New Zealand flag there has been lowered to half-mast.
First body recovered; investigation underway
Investigators are currently sifting through the wreckage in an effort to discover the cause of the crash.
Recovery teams have removed the first of the three bodies, carrying it out on foot.
The three Air Force personnel were killed when their helicopter crashed near Pukerua Bay as it was flying from the RNZAF's base at Ohakea to Anzac Day commemorations in Wellington.
The helicopter, part of the No. 3 Squadron, was due to take part in a flypast of the Wellington Cenotaph while in formation with two other Iroquois.
Those on the other helicopters did not immediately realise there had been an accident. One landed at Wellington and one at Paraparaumu.
Wellington Westpac Rescue Helicopter operations manager Dave Greenberg said a paramedic was winched into the helicopter crash site this morning.
"At that point we didn't know if anyone was alive," Mr Greenberg said.
He said an injured man was found and winched into the rescue helicopter before being taken to a nearby ambulance and transported to Wellington Hospital.
The aircraft was upside down and severely damaged when they found it, he said.
"The emergency beacon from the Iroquois allowed us to get there more quickly than we otherwise would have," Mr Greenberg said.
"We got there to find it upside down. It was unsettling."
Inspector John Spence, area commander of Kapiti Mana police, said the crash site was difficult to locate in what was low cloud cover and it took some "impressive flying" by the Westpac Rescue helicopter to get close to the ravine and winch someone down.
He said the helicopter "was pretty badly smashed up".
Police search and rescue had taken control of the scene and were working closely with Air Force staff to investigate what happened and to identify and remove the bodies of the three crew, he said.
- NZ HERALD STAFF, NZPA