One person is dead and several others are hurt after a crash near the south Waikato town of Tirau this afternoon.

Police were called about the two-car crash on State Highway 5, about 5km east of the town, at 2.30pm.

One person has died in the crash, police confirmed.

Another person is understood to have moderate injuries and two have minor injuries.

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State Highway 5 was closed between Waimakariri Rd and Harwoods Rd in Tapapa.

NZTA advised motorists to delay their journey or use an alternative route through the area.

The Serious Crash Unit will examine the scene.

MORE TO COME