A 48-year-old Tokoroa man is in a critical condition in Waikato Hospital after a serious crash near Katikati, north of Tauranga, late last night.

A police spokeswoman said a van spun out on Wharawhara Rd and it appeared one person was thrown from the vehicle.

Emergency services were called to the scene, about 3km from the intersection with State Highway 2 and just down the road from the Katikati Naturist Park, about 11.30pm.

Katikati chief fire officer Joe Manukau, who went to the crash with one of two volunteer fire crews, said a local person was the first on the scene, having driven past and stopped to help.

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Manukau said the injured man was the sole occupant of the van and was found a short distance from it.

It was not clear whether he had been thrown from the car or had got out himself.

Manukau said the rural road was just south of the Katikati town centre and, while there had been some rain, the conditions were "okay".

"He just lost it."

The man was initially taken to Tauranga Hospital and was later airlifted to Waikato Hospital where he remained in intensive care this afternoon.

The police Serious Crash Unit was investigating.