Four people are dead and another eight, including a baby, have been injured in a two-car crash in Taupō.
Police said the two cars collided at about 3.15pm at the intersection of State Highway 1 and Tutukau Rd - near the popular Orakei Korako geothermal area.
Two of the injured people are in critical condition and the others are in a serious condition or have moderate injuries.
Four rescue helicopters have taken the injured to Waikato and Rotorua hospitals.
Philips Search and Rescue Trust said those injured included a 10-month-old baby, a man in his forties with multiple injuries, and a 42-year-old woman with chest and abdominal injuries.
Taupō district mayor David Trewavas said some earlier rain had cleared up but the roads were very busy due to the school holidays.
The crash happened near a passing lane where other crashes had happened in the past, he said.
The occupants of both vehicles were believed to be New Zealanders, he said.
State Highway 1 has now reopened.