A motocross stunt rider had his New Year's Eve plans interrupted by a dramatic crash at Whangamata, followed by an emergency helicopter to flight to Tauranga.
Casey McManaway, 28, was executing his first jump at the Freestyle New Zealand event at Williamson Park about 2pm yesterday when he came off his bike and it landed on top of him.
Lifeguards, trained in advanced first aid, from the nearby Whangamata Surf Life Saving Club were first on the scene, securing the injured rider with a back board and neck brace until an ambulance arrived from Waihi.
Mr McManaway, who lives in Wairarapa, was flown to Tauranga Hospital by the TrustPower TECT rescue helicopter and is in a stable condition.
A Waihi St John spokesperson at the scene said Mr McManaway was concussed but did not appear to have broken any bones.
Freestyle NZ co-owner Neil Dempsey said Mr McManaway "didn't have enough revs on and came up a little bit short" on the jump. "The first jump of the day is always a bit of a nervous one," he said.
A witness at the scene said organisers had earlier questioned whether the event should go ahead due to windy conditions.
"This guy [Mr McManaway] seemed to misjudge it a bit and the front wheels I think hit the top of the ramp and the bike fell backward then he ended up underneath it and it fell right on him."
Police took statements from witnesses at the scene.
The event had been due to re-start later in the afternoon, once the wind had dropped. Mr Dempsey said it was best for Mr McManaway's fellow riders to get back on their bikes quickly after witnessing a crash.
The rescue helicopter was then dispatched to Mayor Island, 35 kilometres north of Tauranga, where a 45-year-old man had suffered an allergic reaction to multiple wasp stings. He was flown to Tauranga Hospital for treatment.