A spate of crashes in and around Rotorua and Taupō on Saturday have prompted a warning from police about the dangers of driving after sudden changes in weather.

At 9.45am yesterday, a Fonterra milk tanker jack-knifed on State Highway 38 between Okaro Rd and Rotomahana Rd.

An ambulance was dispatched but not required as the driver had minor injuries.

A Fonterra spokeswoman confirmed the driver was fine and there was "only a bit of milk spillage" which was sorted by fire crews.


No other vehicles were involved but the highway was closed for an hour as the truck was positioned across the road.

Moments later, a car rolled on Western Bay Rd, SH32, near Taupō.

Emergency services were called to the single car crash at 9.58am and one person was airlifted to Waikato Hospital in a moderate condition.

Later in the day a cyclist and car collided at the intersection of Tarawere Rd and Longmile Rd.

A police officer at the scene said the driver had turned off Tarawera Rd on to Longmile Rd and collided with the cyclist, who was traveling towards the roundabout, just after 1pm.

The cyclist suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Rotorua Hospital.

A car and cyclist collided in Rotorua. Photo / Cira Olivier
A car and cyclist collided in Rotorua. Photo / Cira Olivier

Shortly after, police were called to a rolled car on Oturoa Rd, Hamurana at 1.50pm.

There were no injuries and no road closures.

In response to questions about the number of crashes on Saturday, a police spokeswoman said: "After many hot, dry days this summer, drivers may not be accustomed to wet, sometimes slippery roads."

NZ Transport Agency regional system manager Rob Campbell warned drivers against "summer ice" earlier this month.

"Even a very small amount of light rain can make the roads very slippery. In fact, it can be more hazardous than heavy rain because grime and exhaust particles that have built up on the road take longer to be washed away."

Summer ice is when roads become slippery post-rain after an extended dry spell. A dry climate causes dust, dirt and oil to build up on roads, which can become greasy after rainfall.

Campbell also urged drivers to check the tread level and air pressure on their tyres.

"Properly inflated tyres with good treads are always a must for safe travel, but even more so in wet or slippery conditions," Campbell said.