Nine people, including two children, are in hospital after two vehicles crashed near Oamaru.
One vehicle carrying six people and the other with three collided on State Highway 1 at Maheno, south of Oamaru, on Sunday evening.
Two children are reported to be among them.
Police said all nine occupants were taken to hospital with varying degrees of injuries.
At least one had critical injuries, two people had serious injuries and two more had moderate injuries.
Another four people had moderate to minor injuries.
Two people trapped in a car were rescued by fire crews.
Four helicopters and five ambulances took people to Oamaru and Dunedin hospitals.
State Highway 1 was closed for a time but one lane was later reopened.