Workers at the Pan Pac Forest Products mill north of Napier have been left shocked by a workplace mishap which has left longtime staff member and union leader with serious injuries in Hawke's Bay Hospital.

The man, aged in the early 60s, was reported by emergency services on Friday to have been run over by a forklift about 4.30pm, at the site alongside State Highway 2, near the coast about 20km from Napier.

The injured employee was not the operator of the equipment at the time of the incident.

Company managing director Doug Ducker returned from overseas during the weekend.


Work at the plant stopped and did not resume until after a blessing on the site on Saturday afternoon.

Ducker said later his employee was in a serious but stable condition in Hawke's Bay Hospital, and the company was offering all available support to the man's family and others affected by the incident.

All appropriate regulatory authorities had been advised with police on-site soon after the incident and staff from Government workplace health and safety agency Worksafe NZ on-site investigating the incident during Saturday. The company had also launched an internal investigation.

First Union area organiser Mike McNab said he and all his members were shocked by what happened to a "much-valued" lead delegate and worker who is also on the union's national executive.

The union was working "collaboratively" with the company also to ensure all possible support was given to the man, his family and workmates.

* This article originally included a quote that said the man was operating the forklift at the time of the incident. This was incorrect.