The driver and passenger killed in a two-car crash near Kerikeri on Monday night have been named.

They were Yvarn Manaia Te Pania, 24, and James Alexander Hamiora, 26, from Northland.

The head-on crash occurred about 11.20pm on Monday on State Highway 10 on a moderate bend north of Puketona Junction and south of Bulls Gorge, about 5km south of the Kerikeri turnoff.

The deaths have been referred to the coroner.

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Police have charged a 21-year-old American citizen with with two counts of careless or inconsiderate driving causing death. He has been bailed with conditions to appear in the Kaikohe District Court tomorrow.

The American was travelling north in a people-mover with one passenger and the Subaru with four occupants, was travelling south.

SH10 was closed for several hours following the smash.

One person in the Subaru was seriously injured and flown to Whangarei Hospital by the Northland Rescue Helicopter.

The occupants of the people-mover suffered only minor injuries.