A helicopter pilot who crashed in a remote area of the Ruapehu district was transporting bees.
The machine crashed in the remote Waimarino Forest near Raetihi shortly after 9.30am.
Two eye-witnesses reported the crash to emergency services.
It took rescuers more than 40 minutes to reach the crash site because of the hilly and remote terrain.
The pilot is in Whanganui Hospital in a serious, but stable condition.
The pilot was the only person on board.
The Transport Accident Investigation Commission will investigate.