Palmerston North mayor Grant Smith has described the death of a 2-year-old child who was run over by a motorbike on a shared pedestrian and cycle pathway as "disturbing" and "absolutely tragic".

Emergency services were called to Pioneer Highway in Palmerston North at 7.02pm yesterday after a motorbike after crashed into a group of pedestrians.

Police announced the child's death this morning. Two other people were rushed to hospital with moderate injuries.

Smith told the Herald it was disturbing to learn the family were using a shared pedestrian and cycle pathway and taking care of their own safety when the tragedy happened.

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"These shared pathways are designed for safety as they keep people walking and cycling off roads from fast-moving vehicles," Smith said.

He said the whole community sent its condolences to the families affected by the death of their toddler.

"This is absolutely tragic news."

"I trust the police will handle the matter appropriately and that no one else ever considers using our shared pathways for anything other than what they are designed for."

The police investigation into the collision is ongoing.