A young man has been choppered to Waikato Hospital with life-threatening injuries after a crash in Coromandel this morning.

Emergency services were advised around 6.40am that a car had rolled on The 309 Road at Preece Pt, south of Coromandel Town.

The Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter was called at 6.59am to help the man, in his 20s.

He was in a critical condition and required a rapid sequence intubation from the chopper crew's medical team to help him breathe, a spokesman for the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust said.

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Police said they had also advised the Serious Crash Unit. The 309 Road was closed and motorists were asked to take diversions at SH 25 and SH 29.

Further south, police are warning of black ice on roads as freezing weather grips the country.

The dangerous, hard-to-see ice has been reported across the Canterbury region this morning and drivers have been urged not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

Police warned drivers to take "extreme care" on the icy roads after a single-vehicle crash before 8am seriously injured the driver and closed Tunnel Rd in Christchurch.

The crash happened at 7.45am, between the Scruttons Rd on-ramp and the Bridle Path Rd on-ramp.

The car's driver - its sole occupant - was badly injured and taken to hospital. The Serious Crash Unit was sent to the scene but the road has since been reopened.

Earlier a vehicle smashed through the railings of the Old Waimakariri Bridge on Main North Rd and ended up in a creek. The driver was unscathed but the bridge was closed as contractors could not inspect it because of ice.

A car crashed through the railings of the Old Waimakariri Bridge just before 6am.
A car crashed through the railings of the Old Waimakariri Bridge just before 6am.

A person died in a single-car crash at 12.20am on SH75 in Christchurch.

The driver was the only person in the car, which crashed between Robinsons Bay and Takamatua Bay.

That crash means there have been 117 deaths on New Zealand roads this year - down from 172 on this date last year. That's largely thought to be because of the lockdown, which banned all but essential travel for more than a month.