Two people who suffered life-threatening injuries in a car crash north of Whangarei had to be cut free by firefighters.

The crash happened on State Highway 1, about 1.5km north of Hikurangi, about 7.50am yesterday, reducing traffic to one lane for three hours.

The two cars were badly mangled in the collision.


Acting Sergeant Mike Greenwood said two men in the southbound Volkswagen Polo suffered life-threatening injuries and two females in a northbound car suffered moderate injuries.

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All four were taken to Whangarei Hospital.

Greenwood said the northbound car was from Auckland but police could not confirm where the other car or its occupants were from.

Fulton Hogan workers cleared the road of debris before it was reopened about 11am.

The police Serious Crash Unit is investigating.