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The accident happened about 1.15pm. St John ambulance workers applied a drip before taking the man, who was conscious and talking, to Auckland Hospital in a critical condition.
A witness said the man had chest injuries.
A pallet of steel was being hoisted when the pallet came apart, he said.
Police attended and WorkSafe was advised, a police spokesman said.
The witness said it was the third incident at the site in recent times, including a worker who suffered a stroke on Friday.
A $70 million hotel is being built on the site on the corner of 147 Victoria St West and Graham St.
The 47-room property is being developed by Safari Group and sits atop the historic Cambridge clothing factory, the facade of which is being incorporated into the new building.