An SUV has crashed into an Auckland Buddhist centre early this morning.

Police were called to the crash on Richmond Rd, in Grey Lynn, near Warnock St at 5.45am.

A police spokeswoman said two people were involved in the crash and one was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

The vehicle was a black Mercedes SUV.


A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman confirmed a person was trapped in the SUV and had been freed by firefighters.

Auckland Buddhist Centre manager Karunajoti said the car had crashed through the fence and hit the side of the building.

Neighbours had rushed to help the driver.

"It's a bit of a notorious corner, and it is very close to the road."

It was not the best timing, Karunajoti said.

The centre's founder and teacher Sangharakshita, who lived in the UK for many years, has just died, she said.

"It is a big moment," she said.

"We have just had a four-day vigil for him."


The Auckland Buddhist Centre belongs to a worldwide movement called the Triratna Buddhist Community.

The centre was planning to hold a livestream of Sangharakshita's funeral next weekend, she said.

"I think we will be okay by then, if we can just get this tidied up.

"It always looks a bit shocking when you first see it but these things happen and we will carry on."

Skids marks in the grass could be seen leading up to the impact site where a destroyed heatpump, strewn vegetation and smashed pieces of fence can also be seen.

The scene of the crash. Photo / Michael Craig
The scene of the crash. Photo / Michael Craig

A St John spokeswoman confirmed one patient in a serious condition was taken to Auckland City Hospital.