A 20-year-old Hastings woman has been flown to Wellington Hospital for specialist treatment after being critically injured in a motorcycle crash near Paki Paki on Saturday evening.

She was a passenger on the motorcycle which was in collision with a car on SH2 about 5.30 and was initially taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital's intensive care unit with multiple injuries.

It is understood she also suffered a serious head injury.

She was airlifted to Wellington at midnight on Saturday.

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District Command Centre Senior Sergeant Dan Foley said the woman had been thrown "some distance" in the collision which also left the male rider of the motorcycle, an Otane man, also with serious injuries.

The driver of the second vehicle was also taken to hospital with moderate injuries.

The crash saw the highway just south of Paki Paki closed for several hours while serious crash unit officers worked at the scene.

Detours through Te Aute Rd and SH50 were put in place.

Mr Foley said initial examinations at the scene indicated the vehicle may have been turning at the time of the crash and was in collision with the motorcycle which had been travelling behind it.