One person is dead and four have been injured in a two-car crash near Karitane, north of Dunedin today.

The crash occurred between Apes Rd and Butters Rd on State Highway 1 about about 3.30pm, a police spokeswoman said.

A rescue helicopter had been dispatched, she said.

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating.

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The road was closed for several hours but had been reopened by 9pm.

Police urged drivers to be careful in the wet weather and keep an eye on following distances and speed.