One person has died following a two-vehicle crash on Thornton Rd near Matatā in the Bay of Plenty.
A second person, a 78 year-old Waimana man, has been airlifted to Tauranga Hospital in a critical condition.
A police spokeswoman said officers received reports of the two-vehicle crash near Whakatāne at 9.23am.
The road will remain closed for the next few hours while police continue the scene examination.
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Diversions are in place and motorists are asked to avoid the area.
A Rotorua Daily Post reporter at the scene said a helicopter had arrived and there was a significant emergency service presence.
The scene is on a corner between Smith and Walker Rd, she said.
Blair, a motorist who was one of the first on the scene, told the Rotorua Daily Post a driver of one of the vehicles was stuck and emergency service staff were trying to pull the door off.