A police investigation is underway into a three-car smash near Moerewa on Monday night which claimed the lives of two Northlanders.
They were Maudie Dianne Pickering, aged 64, and Iharaira Trevon Maxi Hoterene-Rakete, aged 25. Both were from the Whangārei area.
The crash occurred about 9.45pm on State Highway 1 at the eastern end of Taumatamakuku Settlement, a short distance from the Affco freezing works.
It is understood the two deceased were in the same vehicle and are believed to have connections in the Mid North.
Two other people were moderately injured, according to a St John Ambulance spokeswoman.
Both were taken to Whangārei Hospital, one by road and the other by the Northland Rescue Helicopter.
A section of State Highway 1 was closed for at least four hours with through traffic diverted via SH11 and Paihia.
The survivors were helped out of the vehicles by members of the public who were first on the scene.
Volunteers of the Kawakawa Fire Brigade had to use cutting equipment to free one of the deceased from the wreckage.
An investigator from the police Serious Crash Unit examined the scene.
The head of Northland road policing, Senior Sergeant Steve Dickson, described the crash as "very tragic".
It was too early to comment on the cause, he said.
It was likely to be a couple of weeks before police decided their next steps, such as laying charges against any of the drivers involved.
Police still had a few people to interview and the Serious Crash Unit was still investigating the vehicles.
Post-mortems of the deceased were due to be carried out yesterday.
The crash brings Northland's road toll for the year to date to four.
The first life lost on the region's roads in 2021 was six-year-old Myka Tuala from Wellington.
Four other people were injured in the two-car crash at Hikurangi on January 1 with one woman flown to Auckland for treatment.
It is believed Myka had been visiting family in Northland for the Christmas holidays.
Last Friday [Jan 29] a police Search and Rescue team found the body of a woman in car which had crashed down a bank on Kaitaia-Awaroa Rd in the Far North.
The woman, thought to be in her mid-60s, had been missing since Wednesday. Police have yet to release her name.
Kaitaia-Awaroa Rd is the main west coast detour while SH1 is closed at Mangamuka Gorge.