Two men in their 20s were killed when their car crashed into two other vehicles on a state highway in Northland early today.
The driver and front-seat passenger of a sedan died at the scene after hitting a truck's trailer and spinning into the vehicle directly behind it on State Highway 10 south of Kaeo.
The male passenger in the rear of the car was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Ambulance crews treated the driver of the rear vehicle for minor injuries, while the truck driver was uninjured.
Senior Sergeant Peter Robinson, of Kerikeri, said it was a "tragic situation" and a sad start to Queen's Birthday Weekend.
"It's too early for us to say what the thrust of the message is from this crash, but the message for all drivers is to drive with care, drive within your lane," he said.
Police would speak with the victims' families and the other drivers involved, Robinson said.
"It's fortunate no-one else has been injured, given that it's open road and that there's been a collision involving three vehicles," he said.
"Our thoughts are with the families of all parties involved."