Police have named the man who died in a car crash on State Highway 3 north of New Plymouth yesterday.

He was Abu Bakar Ramli of New Plymouth.

The 56-year-old died and another passenger was airlifted to hospital in serious condition after the two-car crash in Awakino.

Emergency services were called to the scene - about 5km north of the Awakino Tunnel - at 1.15pm.

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As well as Piopio firefighters, police, St John Ambulance and a doctor were at the scene.