Nine people have been killed in a plane crash at Fox Glacier Airport on the West Coast.
The fixed-wing Fletcher plane from Skydive New Zealand crashed shortly after take-off at about 1.30pm on Saturday.
The dead include the pilot, four local men and tourists from Australia, England, Ireland and Germany.
Police and emergency services are at the scene and a disaster victim identification team is on the way. The bodies will remain there until Sunday.
The mayor of Grey District Council, Tony Kokshoorn, says the tight-knit community is shocked and anxious to know who the victims are.
He says the crash is of the same magnitude as the Cave Creek disaster of 1995, in which 14 people died.
The Civil Aviation Authority and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission have been notified.