A toddler has been hit by a ute on a private driveway in the Patea area of South Taranaki.

Police were called to a report of a ute crash involving a three-year-old near the intersection of Patea Rd and Kaharoa Rd about 12pm.

A St John spokeswoman said a helicopter airlifted the child in a serious condition to Whanganui Hospital.

Two fire crews from Patea and one from Waverley attended the scene.

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A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said they were the first on the scene and prepared a landing area for the helicopter.

A police spokeswoman said that both the Serious Crash Unit and the Criminal Investigation Branch attended the scene.

"Inquiries are underway," she said.