A 50 tonne truck and trailer unit crashed south of Whangarei early this morning, blocking southbound lanes on State Highway 1.

Police say the northbound truck and trailer unit lost control on Smeaton Hill and went into a ditch. It travelled for about 100 metres before it spun out and rolled across the southbound passing lanes.

The truck was carrying palm kernel, some of which spilt across the road. The driver was not injured.

Emergency Services attended the crash and traffic diversions were put in place. Southbound cars were diverted onto Portland Road, through the Portland village and onto SH1, while the northbound lane remained open.

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The palm kernel was cleaned off the road and the truck and trailer were lifted by crane about 10am today and one of the southbound lanes was opened. Police are investigating the cause of the crash.