Three people have died in a crash between a car and a truck on State Highway 1 at Huntly, in Waikato.
The crash happened about 2.40pm. Of the five people in the car, three were dead, one was in a critical condition and one was in a serious condition, police said.
A spokesperson for the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter said the two survivors - a nine-year-old girl and a woman - had been flown to Waikato Hospital.
A hospital spokesperson said the girl's condition had since improved.
The truck driver was unharmed.
Waikato Road Police Senior Sergeant Andy BuBear said it appeared the car might have crossed the centre line.
"It would appear that a southbound car has collided with a northbound truck. The southbound car looks like it has crossed the centre line."
Waikato Fire Service assistant area commander Darryl Papesch said it was a difficult scene for volunteers from the Huntly brigade, who were the first to respond to the crash.
"Having three in the one vehicle - we don't get those a lot and, you know, that can make it far more difficult."
"Particularly because it is volunteers putting their time in the local community."
Mr Papesch said the crash had caused traffic chaos and motorists could expect delays.
Police have reopened the road after diversions were put through Te Kauwhata Road and Te Ohaki Road, and asked motorists to avoid the area.