A minivan with six tourists has crashed and a person is dead in North Canterbury.

Police said the rented minivan was travelling south on State Highway 1 near Greta Valley when it crossed the centre line, travelled through a paddock and rolled down a steep bank about 10.20am.

One person died at the scene and the other five occupants were taken to Christchurch Hospital with injuries.

Police said further information, including the nationality of the tourists, would be released once the next of kin of the person who died in the crash were informed.

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Canterbury Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the crash or saw the white minivan on SH1 prior to the crash to contact them by calling 03 363 740.

Information can also be provided anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.