The Trustpower TECT rescue helicopter was dispatched to the Ruatahuna Valley at 4.30pm yesterday after a hunter fell into a river.
The 76-year-old man was pulled from the river by a hunting companion, when it was found he had stopped breathing.
However, CPR was administered with a successful outcome.
The helicopter landed at a camping ground in a steep valley, and a St John paramedic assessed the patient before he was flown to Rotorua hospital.
The main road into Ruatahuna has been washed-out and is blocked by slips, so there is no vehicle access to the valley for the next few days.