One person has been killed and five others seriously injured in a two-car crash near Kawakawa in Northland.

Two cars carrying six adults and two children were involved in the head-on crash at the intersection of State Highway 1 and Rusk Rd in Hukerenui just before 6pm.

One person died at the scene and emergency services worked to free three others trapped inside the cars, said a fire communications spokesman.

A rescue helicopter was transferring two people in a critical condition and three in serious condition to Whangarei Hospital.

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The remote location made access difficult, said a police spokesman.