A person has died in a crash in Mangakino hours after a person was killed in a fiery two-car crash near Paparoa.

The crash on Tahae Rd, Mangakino in the Otorohanga District about 4pm brought the year's road toll to 91.

One person died at the scene, police said.

Less than two hours earlier a person died in a crash near Paparoa, 45km northwest of Wellsford. One of the vehicles caught fire.


Senior Sergeant Pat Davis said another person was trapped and two suffered moderate injuries in the crash on The Pines Rd, off State Highway 12.

The Northland Rescue Helicopter flew the injured to Whangarei Hospital.

The cars collided near the intersection of The Pines Rd, Paparoa. Photo / Jason Oxenham
The cars collided near the intersection of The Pines Rd, Paparoa. Photo / Jason Oxenham

A witness said there was a long queue of traffic including large trucks on State Highway 12.

The highway is closed and diversions are in place from SH12 to SH1 via Paparoa-Oakleigh Rd, Paparoa Rd and Mangapai Rd.

Police warned there would be significant delays.

A number of people are also trapped in a serious crash on State Highway 2 between Central Hawke's Bay and Hastings.

Police were called to the two-car crash about 4pm. It was too soon to say if anyone was injured, police said.

Since the beginning of the year 91 people have died in car crashes compared to 75 at the same time last year.

Two teenagers died early yesterday, after a high-speed head-on collision at Amberley, north of Christchurch.

The deaths come after a horror weekend on New Zealand's roads when nine people were killed in crashes between March 9 and 11.

Last week, assistant commissioner for road policing, Sandra Venables, called the high number "disappointing".

"Decisions drivers make impact not only them and those in their vehicle, but everybody else on the road as well," she said.

She said police focused on addressing behaviour they believed was behind a bulk of crashes: "people driving too fast for the conditions, people driving impaired, people driving distracted and people not wearing seatbelts".

"Nobody wants to share the road with someone who is taking risks."

Meanwhile, an independent road safety consultant is unconvinced lifting the driving age would have a serious impact on the country's road toll.

Road safety consultant Peter Sheppard today told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking adolescents weren't the problem.

"If you have a look at the statistics at the moment, generally there's not a large increase in fatalities in that age group.

"Our increase in our road deaths is happening in higher age groups."

However, it was not just the age that was concerning, but also the training drivers were getting.

"There's always room for improvement in those sorts of areas," he said.

"I think we're starting to get it right, but we've got lots of work we can do."