16 Dec 2016

Wairoa plane debris retrieved

5:34 pm on 16 December 2016

Investigators have removed the wreckage of a plane which crashed into powerlines near Gisborne, killing two people and cutting power to the city.

Work under way to repair the powerlines damaged in the fatal plane crash near Wairoa on Monday.

Work under way to repair the power lines damaged in the fatal plane crash on Monday. Photo: RNZ / Michael Cropp

Farmers Air pilot George Anderson, 37, and his passenger, 49-year-old loader operator Robert Solouota, died in the crash on Monday.

The crash cut power to the region for 33 hours.

The burnt-out wreckage of the topdressing plane they were flying, which was found in inhospitable terrain north-east of Wairoa, was taken to Gisborne for examination.

Pilot George Anderson was killed in a plane crash near Wairoa.

George Anderson Photo: Supplied / LinkedIn

Mr Anderson's funeral service will be held at Omaka aerodrome in Blenheim on Tuesday.

He leaves behind a young son, and his partner who is pregnant with the couple's second child.

Mr Solouota was originally from Niue, and at least 20 members of the New Zealand Niuean community have arrived in Gisborne in support.

Gisborne mayor Meng Foon organised accommodation for them at a city holiday park.

Gisborne police organised a collection of food for the group and had an overwhelming response.

Meanwhile, Eastland Network electricity staff planned to cut power to the region again on Sunday for eight hours to complete repairs to the transmission power lines broken in the accident.

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