The long weekend road toll is off to a bad start with one person dead after a two vehicle crash near Dannevirke tonight.

The accident happened at Matamau near Norsewood on State Highway 1 just after 8pm, inspector Peter McKennie said.

A man was killed and one other person has been taken to hospital with moderate injuries.

Police were investigating the cause of the crash and the road has been closed, Mr McKennie said.

Police had targeted zero fatalities for the weekend, with an increased police presence on the roads.

- NZPA