A woman, believed to be from Whangārei, died after the car she was driving collided with a ute in pouring rain.

The crash happened about 5pm yesterday on State Highway 1, just north of Ta Hana.

Two fire appliances each from Kaiwaka and Wellsford, together with the police Serious Crash Unit from Rodney and two Westpac rescue helicopters were at the scene.

A man from the car and the sole occupant from the ute were flown to the Auckland City Hospital in a serious condition.

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It was raining at the time the vehicles collided on a slight corner, just south of Topuni Bridge.

It's understood the woman who died was heading north while the ute in the opposite direction. Both vehicles were a write-off.

Diversions were put in place through Mangawhai Rd while the Police Serious Crash Unit carried out initial investigations. However, a crash on the diversion further held up traffic until about 10pm.

SH1 re-opened sometime before midnight.