A couple's Northland holiday has ended in tragedy after a fatal crash near Mangonui.

The two-car crash, which occurred about 10.05am yesterday on a corner of State Highway 10 just south of the Mangonui turnoff, left a Mitsubishi Triton ute on its roof on the road while a Mitsubishi hatchback came to rest on the verge.

Police, St John Ambulance and the Mangonui Fire Brigade responded.

The woman passenger in the hatchback, aged 34, died at the scene.

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The 37-year-old driver, believed to be her partner, was taken to Kaitaia Hospital with serious injuries.

The front-left corner of the hatchback took the brunt of the impact.

The driver of ute was able to get out of the cab unaided and had only minor injuries.

Cement, tools and building equipment were scattered across the road where the ute had rolled onto its roof.

The driver of this ute walked away with only minor injuries. Photo / Peter de Graaf
The driver of this ute walked away with only minor injuries. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Sergeant Kevin Anderson, of Kaitaia police, said the couple were visitors to Northland and believed to be from the South Island.

The woman's name would not be released until all next of kin had been notified.

The crash was still being investigated but it appeared one of the vehicles had crossed on to the wrong side of the road.

The driver of the ute, from the Doubtless Bay area, had been taken to Kaitaia police station where he was ''helping police with their enquiries''.

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The crash, which was between Back River Rd and Oparihi Rd, blocked the highway for just over two hours.

Trucks had to wait but light traffic was diverted via Back River Rd and Oruru Rd.

SH10 was re-opened to one direction at a time around 12.10pm.

Mangonui firefighters used cutting equipment to remove a door and the roof from the hatchback and helped with traffic control and scene protection.

A local man told the Advocate he always went slow on that section of highway because it was notorious for drivers cutting the corner.

A member of the police Serious Crash Unit and a detective from the Kaitaia CIB attended the crash scene as part of the investigation.

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The Mangonui crash brings to six the Northland road toll so far this year. The other fatalities were at Waipū, Kaitaia and Whananaki, where three people died in one accident.