Police have confirmed four adults and a young child died in the tourist bus crash near Rotorua yesterday.

Five were killed, two seriously injured and four moderately injured after the bus they were in rolled on State Highway 5 at Ngatira, 20km northwest of the city, on a stretch of bush-edged road between Waiohotu and Galaxy Rds.

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Police said this afternoon while they were making good progress with the identification of the deceased, they were not yet in a position to release any further detail.

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The scene examination on State Highway 5 is now complete but police say it is too early to comment on how the deadly crash occurred.

"The bus involved in the crash remains in secure storage and will be the subject of considerable forensic examination over the next few days," said Inspector Brent Crowe, Bay of Plenty Road Policing Manager.

"Police have had a good response to an earlier appeal for witnesses to the crash and are still keen to hear from anyone who may have been on State Highway 5 north of Rotorua at the time.

Twenty-seven people were on the bus when it rolled on State Highway Five yesterday. Photo / Bishal Jung Basnet
Twenty-seven people were on the bus when it rolled on State Highway Five yesterday. Photo / Bishal Jung Basnet

"Police wish to acknowledge and thank the Chinese Ambassador and Chinese community for their ongoing support for the investigation and to those involved in the crash."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters today that New Zealand would offer those affected all the assistance it can.

"New Zealand does pride itself on caring for those who choose to visit ... and that only adds to the anguish that we'll be feeling. I have sent my condolences directly to the Chinese leadership," she said.