Police during the weekend released the names of two people killed in a head-on crash south of Napier on one of New Zealand's most deadly stretches of road.

The crash happened about 4.35pm on Thursday, and police during the weekend named the pair as Janina Pascoe, 31, of Napier, Matiu Whatarau, 17, of Hastings.

A second teenager from the car today remained in a serious but stable condition in the intensive care unit at Hawke's Bay Hospital in Hastings.

A man in the utility received minor injuries and a woman was reported to have survived uninjured.


Those killed and the second youth were all in a southbound car which collided with an oncoming canopied utility as the car came out of left-hand bend on Sandy Rd.

It is part of a 5.5km Sandy and Brookfields roads route between Pakowhai and Meeanee roads which has claimed seven lives in five fatal crashes in just over 11 years since May 2007, one of the worst records in New Zealand for any stretch of non-state highway road.

The route has a speed limit of 100km/h, but a recommended maximum speed of 65km/h on the bend.

All of the fatalities have happened at separate sites, three deaths (including those on Thursday) in two crashes on the northernmost Napier City Council side of the 300-metres-long, one-way Brookfields Bridge, and four in the Hastings District Council sector of Brookfields Rd.

There is no sign notifying the limit from the Meeanee Rd end, the only sign being a 100km/h notification entering from the Pakowhai Rd.

In 2014, the Hastings council moved to lower the limit to 80km/h on its side of the bridge, and had installed signs at Pakowhai and the ramp heading south off the Brookfields Bridge before having to rescind the decision, and remove the sign because of public opposition linked to the consultation process. It remains at 100km/h after this year's review, which introduced lower speed limits at 13 other sites in the district.

The Napier council however made no move to reduce the limit on its side in 2014, but a cut to 80km/h is recommended in its current proposal.

Users say traffic on the link builds increases at before and after work times seasonally, but there has been significant increases in Napier-bound traffic during the Pakowhai Rd-Hawke's Bay Expressway-Links Rd roadworks which started in late January, during which motorists have been advised to take alternative routes to avoid highway congestion.


Thursday's crash was the second double-fatality on roads from the Wairoa to Tararua districts in less than 24 hours, and the third multiple-fatality crash in the region in less than four weeks.

Hastings lawyer Jessica Greig and partner's son Reign Watene, aged 3, died about 4.45pm on Wednesday when the vehicle they were in collided with a train at a crossing on Troup Rd, southwest of Woodville, and three people died as a result of a State Highway 2 crash south of Nuhaka on July 5.