A woman seriously injured in a car crash following a police pursuit in Gisborne is now in a critical condition in hospital.

The 21-year-old was among seven people, including children, injured when two cars collided on State Highway 2 near Te Karaka on Friday morning.

The woman was taken to Gisborne Hospital in a serious condition. She was later transferred to Waikato Hospital.

A hospital spokeswoman said this morning she was now in a critical condition in the intensive care unit.

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The other occupants of the vehicles remain at Gisborne Hospital. All are in a stable condition and one is in the intensive care unit.

The crash happened moments after one of the cars was clocked speeding. A police patrol car briefly pursued it.

"Within seconds of the officer initiating the pursuit, the vehicle has crashed into another vehicle down the road," a police statement said.

The 21-year-old woman was one of four people in one vehicle. The others were a 21-year-old man, a 26-year-old man and a 4-year-old boy.

The oncoming vehicle had four people inside -- a 38-year-old man, 18-year-old woman and a 7-year-old girl.