A person has been rushed to hospital in a critical condition after a two-car crash in South Canterbury tonight.

Two cars collided on State Highway One by the Half Chain Rd turn-off at Pareora, 12km south of Timaru, at 7.36pm.

Emergency services rushed to the scene.

A spokesman for St John said one patient is being taken to Timaru Hospital in a critical condition.

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Two others have suffered moderate injuries and would likely to also be taken to hospital, the spokesman said.

Police say its serious crash unit is investigating the circumstances of the crash.

Diversions are in place via Pareora River Rd while emergency services work to clear the scene.