Search and Rescue, police and a rescue helicopter were called to Tongariro National Park at about 1.30pm on Saturday when a hunter reportedly shot himself in the leg.

The hunter was in a remote area of the park, and the Greenlea Rescue helicopter, dispatched from Taupo, winched the man aboard and transported him to Waikato Hospital.

The injured man, said to be in his 20s, is reported to be in a stable condition, and Waikato Hospital staff say he has been transferred to a ward.

Firearms Safety Specialists NZ spokeswoman Nicole McKee said the long weekend and changing weather in the central North Island was ideal for hunters. "But every hunter that ventures out should be constantly reminding themselves of firearms safety basics," she said.


"The only time you should have a loaded firearm while hunting is when you are ready to take a shot. Hunters are reminded to unload their firearms when their game gets away."