A forestry worker died after a tree fell on his leg.
John Allan Sanderson, aged 40, died on Thursday after a tree fell on him in a forest off Opouteke Rd, Pakotai, about 48km northwest of Whangarei, Sergeant Grant Rouse of Whangarei police said.
It is the second forestry worker death in New Zealand in 2013, which has FIRST Union, which represents forestry workers, calling for improved safety in the industry.
Mr Rouse said Mr Sanderson, a tree feller from Pakotai, was in the forest felling trees on Thursday afternoon.
He said Mr Sanderson had felled a tree on a steep bank when it appeared that the top of the felled tree got caught in another tree further up the bank.
Mr Rouse said it appeared that the felled tree had then snapped the second tree off about three metres from the ground, which then fell on Mr Sanderson's leg, trapping him.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is investigating the death. Health and safety inspectors have already visited the accident site.
Robert Reid, general secretary of FIRST Union said the latest tragic death highlighted the urgent need for attention to the conditions endured by forestry workers.
"If New Zealand has learnt anything from the Pike River Commission, it is the urgent need for an effective regulatory framework and independent worker/union checks for health and safety in our most dangerous sectors.
"Unfortunately that insight does not seem to have crossed over into the forest sector where we see an equivalent rate of fatalities to Pike River every five to six years."
NZ Forest Owners Association senior policy analyst Glen Mackie said the association was aiming for zero serious injuries or deaths in the country's forests. A new Forestry Code of Practice had recently been agreed on and workshops on the new rules for forestry workers and owners would be held in Northland next month.
He said the new code would help towards reaching the Government's 2020 goal of reducing workplace deaths and serious injuries by at least 25 per cent.