One person is dead and two injured after a car crash near Motueka early this morning.

Police say speed was possibly the cause of the crash.

Emergency services were called to the scene on the Riwaka side of the Motueka bridge just after 2am. They found a "light van" with three people inside.

Sergeant Blair Hall said it appeared to be driver of the vehicle who died at the scene.

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The other two occupants were taken to hospital with what police said appeared to be moderate to serious injuries.

Emergency services spent some time at the scene overnight and a police serious crash investigator will conduct a full examination later today.

"The crash does not appear have involved any other vehicles, and evidence at the scene would indicate speed was an aggravating feature leading to this crash," Mr Hall said.

Police are yet to release the name of the deceased.