The driver of an out-of-control vehicle may have deliberately rammed a police car, causing an eight car pile-up which killed an elderly man, it was reported tonight.

Police said the man died when his car was hit by an out-of-control Jeep Cherokee at the intersections of Rosedale and Bush Roads in Albany, on Auckland's North Shore, just before 1pm today.

Seconds before, the Jeep had rear-ended a police patrol which was pushed forward resulting in damage to six other vehicles.

3News reported tonight the 50-year-old driver had earlier threatened to kill himself after leaving his Glenfield home and may have deliberately rammed the police car.

But police refused to be drawn on the report.

"We're not commenting on any speculation by any media organisation," North Shore police communications manager Kevin Loughlin said.

North Shore police area commander Inspector Les Paterson earlier said the police car involved in the incident had been travelling to a "priority one" incident and had slowed to a virtual stop as it approached the intersection in the centre lane.

As the police vehicle waited behind other cars at a red light, the officers observed a Jeep Cherokee was travelling behind them in the same direction at "considerable speed".

They tried to take evasive action by slipping between lanes.

"The Cherokee then collided with the rear of the police car causing it to jettison forward over 50 metres," Mr Paterson said

The Cherokee then flipped as it crossed the centre line and struck an oncoming car being driven by the elderly man.

The driver of Cherokee was taken to North Shore Hospital with moderate injuries.

The two police officers were shaken but not seriously hurt.

None of the occupants of the other cars was hurt.

The intersection reopened tonight after being closed for several hours while the smashed vehicles were removed and police examined the crash scene.

Investigations into the exact cause of the accident were continuing tonight with police saying they had yet to speak to the Cherokee driver.

- NZPA