Four people were taken to hospital, one of them in critical condition, after a crash near Kerikeri.

The accident occurred on State Highway 10, next to Blue Gum Lane about 2km north of the Kerikeri crossroads, when a vehicle is thought to have crossed the centreline about 5.15pm on Friday.

The impact crushed the front of a Honda CR-V and shunted a BMW sedan into a ditch.

A woman and two young children were in one vehicle while an elderly male was the sole occupant of the other.


The woman and one child were flown to Whangarei Hospital by the Northland Electricity Rescue Helicopter.

The woman was in a critical condition and placed in intensive care at Whangarei. Around noon yesterday she was transferred by helicopter to Auckland City Hospital. The girl, who was initially in a serious condition, was transferred by road to Starship Hospital on Saturday.

The man and the other child were initially taken by ambulance to Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa. Their injuries were initially described as moderate.

Further information on the patients' condition was not available yesterday.

Among the first on the scene were two St John ambulance volunteers. One had heard the crash from her workplace at Westmount College; the other was driving south on SH10 when she saw the collision a few hundred metres ahead.

The highway was closed for several hours between the Kerikeri crossroads and Waimate North Rd while medics tended to the injured and a specialist investigator from the police Serious Crash Unit examined the scene.

Sergeant Ross Laurie, of Kerikeri police, said the cause of the crash was still under investigation, but it appeared one driver had lost control and crossed the centreline.