The person who died following a car versus truck crash north of Waiouru was a child.
Police said tonight the crash involved two cars and two truck and trailer units.
Three others were taken to hospital in a critical condition following the crash which closed the Desert Rd section of State Highway 1.
The Desert Rd reopened late on Friday night.
A fifth person had moderate injuries.
Police said details of the identity of the dead and injured were not available to be released yet.
Some next of kin were overseas, police said.
Fire, police, ambulance services and rescue helicopters attended the incident.
The death brings the Easter weekend road toll to two, which was the total amount of road deaths for the holiday last year.
Police were called to the crash, between Waipakihi Rd and Rangipo Intake Rd, at 3.27pm.
A central fire communications spokeswoman said three people were trapped, and they are assisting with extrication.
Police have advised Desert Rd (SH1) is now closed due to the crash. They are advising motorists to use SH46 and SH49 as alternative routes.
"There are a number of injuries and a helicopter landing site has been set up to take patients to hospital."
NZTA has warned motorists to allow at least 90 minutes for the detour.
"The road is expected to be closed for some time so people should avoid the area if they can or check before they travel."
The Serious Crash Unit and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Team have been advised.
Earlier today one person died after a crash in Waikato. Emergency services were called to the crash, between Pokuru and Tirohanga Rds, Tirohanga in Kinleith between Rotorua and Taupo, at 10.52am.
Three young children were also injured and a woman left fighting for her life after a major crash between a car and a truck south of Matamata.
Two adults and the three children, aged eight months old, and 2 and 3 years old, were in a car that collided with a truck carrying frozen goods at the intersection of State Highways 27 and 29, in Waikato, at 9.45am.
Firefighters had to cut two people free from the wreckage. The 27-year-old driver of the vehicle was stabilised by paramedics at the scene before being flown to Waikato Hospital in a critical condition.