A Tauranga man has been flown to Waikato Hospital after a fatal crash on the Napier-Taupo highway this morning.

The 36-year-old suffered serious injuries after two cars collided head on at Mihi Bridge on State Highway 5, near Waimahana.

The crash happened at 7.40am.

Police confirmed a person died at the scene and the other was trapped in his vehicle for some time.

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Once the man was freed from the car, the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter flew him to Waikato Hospital.

A helicopter spokesman confirmed the man was from Tauranga and was still conscious and talking despite the serious nature of his injuries.

The spokesman said the Tauranga man had been travelling in a private vehicle.

Diversions were in place as Serious Crash Unit officers work on the scene. Traffic will be diverted onto Broadlands Road from Reporoa Road to the north and Ohaaki Road to the south.