A multi-vehicle pile up in Hawkes Bay has put 10 people in hospital, including two tourists.

A truck and up to four cars are believed to have been involved in the crash, which happened on State Highway 2, just north of Otane, 35km southwest of Hastings, about 5.15pm.

Three of those hospitalised have critical injuries, a police central communications spokesman told NZPA.

Among those injured were two tourists, an Italian and a German.

The highway's northbound lane is blocked and diversions are being put in place.

The road is expected to remain closed for several hours.

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