A crash between a schoolbus and car has left a woman dead and an 8-year-old girl with critical injuries.
The collision, near the Manutahi Hotel on State Highway 3 in South Taranaki, was reported to emergency services about 3.45pm.
It is understood the car was under the bus, and the Fire Service was called to extract the smaller vehicle's two occupants.
Inspector Ken Climo from police central communications said the girl had been airlifted to Wellington Hospital by the Taranaki Community Rescue Helicopter.
St John confirmed the child had critical injuries.
Two people from the bus were taken to Hawera Hospital with minor injuries, a 15-year-old male with leg injuries and the 63-year-old bus driver.
The police serious crash unit was at the scene and the road was expected tor remain closed for several hours.