Historian Dame Judith Binney is in a critical but stable condition in Auckland Hospital's intensive care unit, after she was hit by a truck.
Dame Judith is an academic and non-fiction writer, whose work is focussed on New Zealand history, particularly Maori individuals and communities.
She was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to historical research in 2006.
Police Acting Inspector Danny Meade says a woman was hit while crossing Princes Street at about 5.30pm on Friday.
Dame Judith's publicist, Angela Radford, confirmed the author had been in an accident and in intensive care with serious head injuries.
She says Dame Judith's family has requested privacy.
The police say the only witness they've spoken to is the truck driver, and that alcohol and speed do not appear to have been factors in the incident.
Dame Judith's latest work, Encircled Lands covers the history of Tuhoe from 1820 to 1921.