Three people were critically injured in two road crashes in the North Island last night.

Police central communications acting shift commander Mark Oliver said the first crash happened about 6pm in Awakino in south Waikato.

At least six people were injured, two critically and one seriously, when a silver Nissan saloon and a red Holden commodore crashed on State Highway 3, Mr Oliver said.

Three people suffered moderate injuries.

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Of the three rescue helicopters which attended, two flew people to Waikato Hospital, he said.

Anyone who saw the cars before the crash, which happened close to the intersection with Manganui Rd, should contact police, Mr Oliver said.

About 30 minutes later, a Kapiti man in his 20s was flown to Wellington Hospital with critical injuries after a ute rolled on a road near Ngawi in South Wairarapa.

Life Flight helicopter crewman Dave Greenberg said the man had suffered head injuries. Two other people who were in the ute with him had minor injuries.

The pair with minor injuries were taken to Masterton Hospital by the Wellington Free Ambulance, Mr Oliver said.