More than 20 sheep were killed after a car ploughed into a stray mob northeast of Wairoa on Friday night.
Emergency services were alerted at 9.35pm and police, a Wairoa Volunteer Fire Brigade crew and a St John Ambulance rushed to the scene on State Highway 2 near the Whakaki Lagoon.
Some of the animals were still pinned beneath the vehicle, some were strewn across the road and other injured sheep were also on the highway or in drains beside the road.
Some had to be destroyed by the farmer who owned the sheep and who was understood to have been unaware they were on the road until told of the accident.
No one in the northbound BMW car was injured, although the protective air bags were activated, said volunteer senior fire officer Philip Jane, who, along with other volunteers, helped control traffic and then cleaned the road.
"The car can probably still be repaired," he said. "A bit of frontal damage, maybe a bit underneath."
Stock had been cleared to the side of the road by the time Wairoa District Council animal control representative Henry Te Rangi arrived, but he said he understood 25 sheep had been killed. He was unaware of how the sheep were on the road. "You do get the odd one or two stray on to the road around there, but 25 ... ? They'd have to have got out somewhere."