A car and a petrol tanker have collided on Auckland's northern motorway, causing major delays for commuters this morning.

The accident was minor and there were no reports of injuries or people trapped, said the fire service northern communications shift manager.

Traffic was down to one lane citybound after Tristram Ave shortly after 7am, with the tanker blocking the middle lane and emergency services blocking the road further.

The incident was cleared by 7.30am, but the NZ Transport Agency warned commuters to expect delays.

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There are more traffic woes elsewhere.

A breakdown on the southwestern motorway causing the partial blockage of the southbound left lane at the end of the Queenstown Rd on-ramp meant motorists should expect delays there as well, the NZTA said.

Meanwhile in Christchurch, a man has serious injuries after hitting a horse with his vehicle on the Northern Motorway on Monday morning.

The motorist had to be cut from the crashed vehicle, near the Fanfare/Chaneys Rd offramp, by firefighters at about 6am before being taken to hospital.

Police said there were three horses on the road, the one hit was killed and the other two were put in a nearby paddock.

Traffic is starting to flow on the motorway again with Christchurch Transport Operations Centre saying it is currently taking an extra 20 minutes to get to Belfast from Pineacres.

Also near Hamilton, a petrol tanker has crashed into a ditch on State Highway 39, blocking one lane, police say.

Police said motorists can expect delays until the scene, near the suburb of Temple View, is cleared and urge people to travel a different way.

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The crash occurred about 6.30am.

- additional reporting by Christchurch Star