Kāpiti's mayor is demanding urgent safety action to fix the "killing fields" stretch of State Highway 1 where four people died yesterday.
Four people died in the crash involving a truck and a van south of Levin yesterday.
Kāpiti Coast Mayor K Gurunathan described the stretch of State Highway 1 between Ōtaki and Levin as the "killing fields highway".
The latest crash highlighted the urgent need for the Government to build the new expressway earlier, he said.
"Following two consecutive accidents and deaths back in November 2018, in a joint statement with the Horowhenua Mayor, I reminded NZTA of the observation made by former coroner Philip Comber who noted that over the past 25 years the road had become "a killing field marked like a battlefield with white crosses".
"It's now November 2021 and little seems to have changed," Gurunathan said.
The Automobile Association said the crash area was one of the worst black spots in the country.
"Again I appeal to the Transport Minister to step in as this systemic killing field scenario is contrary to the Government's stated priority on safety. Our thoughts are with the injured and affected families."
Horowhenua District Mayor Bernie Wanden said the stretch of road is renowned for being unsafe and desperately needs to be improved.
"There's already been three fatalities in the area this year at least and this is just adding to the terrible statistics.
"It's a stretch of road between Ōhau and Manakau with a passing lane going south and a turn off to Kuku Beach.
"Around that bend we have a lot of issues."
However Wanden said he is already in discussions with Waka Kotahi NZTA about making improvements.
"We're talking about median barriers, side barriers and wider centre lines, but it's critical we now move as quickly as possible."
Police seeking witnesses, dashcam footage
Police confirmed the number of deaths in a statement this morning.
Police are seeking witnesses to the crash on State Highway 1 at Kuku, south of Levin.
"In particular, we'd like to hear from anyone who was travelling on the road at that time of the crash that may have dashcam footage."
Authorities are now working to officially identify the victims and have contacted their next of kin.
"Our thoughts are with them at this time."
Emergency services were called to the scene shortly after 3pm yesterday.
The road was closed for several hours as emergency staff worked at the scene, before the Serious Crash Unit arrived to continue investigations onsite to work out the circumstances of the incident.
St John said a rapid response unit and an ambulance were sent to the crash.
One person was taken to Palmerston North Hospital in a serious condition.
A queue of vehicles stretched for several kilometres along State Highway 1 last night.
A number of those held up were people who travelled to descend on Parliament in a challenge to Covid restrictions.
Organised by the Freedoms and Rights Coalition, the group marched to Parliament yesterday to present its demands, which included an end to Covid restrictions and vaccine mandates.
Also in the queue were a number of motorcyclists, some waving flags.
• Can you help? Anyone with any information or footage is urged to contact Police on 105