Central Hawke's Bay's mayor says a busy Waipawa intersection which was the scene of a serious crash this morning is becoming harder to "navigate safely".

A woman in her 50s was airlifted to Hawke's Bay Hospital in a serious condition after a truck and car collided at the intersection of Victoria St and High St at 7.55am.

Mayor Alex Walker said the ever-growing traffic on State Highway 2 was testing driver patience and making the intersection dangerous.

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"That is a very busy intersection and, with the growing traffic volumes on SH2 [High St], it is getting harder for some people to have the patience to navigate safely.

"The roadworks south of Waipawa are also adding to the issue as traffic is slowed up and ends up coming through the main street of the town in long chains."

Police said one person was initially trapped in the vehicle but was freed by Fire and Emergency crews, with ambulance and helicopter crews also there to assist.

Two people were injured in the crash, with a woman in a serious condition flown by helicopter to Hawke's Bay Hospital where she was reported as being in a stable condition.

The other person received minor injuries and was treated by ambulance staff at the scene.

Walker said the intersection is an important link between the town centre and the primary school, as well as to residential development further down Victoria St. It was important to make sure it is safe during busy periods.

She said that, as far as she was aware, the NZ Transport Agency had no plans to change the intersection.

An NZTA spokesperson said it was aware of the intersection but any work on it would be complicated because of its proximity to the railway line.


This meant it would be difficult to do any large-scale changes to the road layout at the off-centred crossroad intersection without affecting the rail line.

Two more crashes occurred later in the day.

Shortly before noon a single car went into a paddock at the intersection of Lawn Rd and Mill Rd in Clive.

One person was assessed and treated at the scene.

At 12.30pm two cars collided at the intersection of Racecourse and Ruataniwha St in Waipukurau but no one was injured.

Road policing manager Matt Broderick said people were lucky things didn't end in catastrophe in crashes over the past few days.

On Monday he said there were instances of people travelling at "significantly high speeds in pouring rain".

Today although the rain had cleared sunstrike caused difficulties.

In this instance people needed to slow down and slowly pull over to the left until it was safe to drive, he said.

Broderick said it was inevitable people would make mistakes but slowing down, driving to the conditions and paying attention prevents catastrophe.

"What's really worrying is that they may make a mistake but an innocent party coming in the opposite direction may pay for it."