Key Points:

Eight high school students and their teacher were taken to hospital after their school mini-bus collided with a car last night.

The students from Lytton High School were travelling back to Gisborne after an inter-school athletics competition when their bus collided with a car on State Highway Two between Napier and Wairoa.

Police spokeswoman Kris McGehan said the students had moderate injuries ranging from broken bones to bruising.

Lytton High School principal Jim Corder said the teacher is having surgery on his knee but the eight students were discharged from hospital this morning.

He said getting the call last night that eight of his students and a teacher were in a crash was a "nightmare that you never wish to hear".

He said he was in contact with parents through-out the night and this morning.

Mr Corder said a parent and the deputy-principal will pick the students up this morning but driving the stretch of road where the crash happened could be difficult.

"We're so thankful that they're all ok, it could have been so much worse," Mr Corder said.

He said the students have been in touch with victim support and will have ongoing support from the school.

Ms McGehan said police believed a car coming in the opposite direction could have crossed the centre line.

She said the driver of the car had facial injuries and broken bones.

Ms McGehan said the Lowe Walker Rescue Helicopter tried to land at the scene but heavy rain forced it to return.

She said police are still investigating the crash and will be speaking to both drivers today.

- NZHERALD STAFF