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Fifteen people have been injured - three seriously - and at least one person is trapped after a crash involving a motorbike, three cars, a van and a small truck north of Taupo.
The truck, believed to be carrying fertiliser, was blocking State Highway 1 north of Taupo on Saturday afternoon.
Emergency services were at the scene near Wairakei, about 1.5km north of Palmer Mill Rd after being alerted about 12.15pm.
St John ambulance spokesman Gerard Campbell said three people were in serious condition and another 12 had moderate to minor injuries.
Three choppers, including one from Hamilton and one from Taupo, and three road ambulances had been called.
The most seriously injured would be airlifted to hospital.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman Daniel Nicholson said two people had been trapped.
One had since been freed and firefighters were working to free the second person with cutting gear.
It was unclear whether the two people had been trapped in the same vehicle or not.
The road was blocked in both directions.
Diversions were in place and police asked motorists to drive with caution.