Two people have died and seven others have been injured following a crash involving a truck and three other vehicles in Bankside, north of Rakaia, this morning.
Police area commander Natasha Rodley told 1 NEWS police believed one car "has crossed the centre line into the path of the truck". She said the two people that died were in this vehicle.
“The truck has been unable to avoid the vehicle and the crash has resulted," she said.
Ms Rodley said two cars following the vehicle were also involved in the crash "because of the suddenness of it".
One of the vehicles hit a nearby power pole, she said.
Police said they were called to the crash on Main South Road on State Highway 1 at 8.50am.
Seven people received moderate to minor injuries in the incident. They were assessed and released without the need for further treatment, Ms Rodley said.
She also confirmed it was a commercial truck involved in the crash, but was unable to tell 1 NEWS at present where it was from.
A rescue helicopter was also in attendance.
NZTA tweeted the crash occurred between Breadings Road and Parkins Road.
Police are currently making inquiries into the circumstances around the crash.
The road is closed and motorists have been advised to avoid the area if possible. Diversions are in place at Old South Road and Main Rakaia Road.
Ms Rodley said police were unsure when the road would re-open but are trying to do so "as soon as we can".
The serious crash unit is in attendance.