Wellington Scoop

Four killed in head-on collision were from Palmerston Nth, Kaikohe, and Australia

News from NZ Police
Police today released the names of the four people who were killed in the head-on collision north of Taupo on Tuesday. They were:

• Mele Ilisapi Oliveti, 44, a Tongan national residing in Palmerston North

• Helena Adele Paul, 56, of Kaikohe

• Leighton Phillip Ahuriri, 60, a New Zealander residing in Western Australia

• Hone Te Ahurei Hawkins-Kanuta, 5, of Kaikohe.

News from NZ Police – October 11
The Police Serious Crash Unit has begun the investigation to establish the cause of a crash which claimed four lives yesterday afternoon at the intersection of SH1 and Tutukau Road near Taupo. A 56-year-old woman, a 60-year-old man and a five-year-old boy travelling in one vehicle were killed, along with a 44-year-old woman in the other vehicle.

A 10-month-old baby boy who suffered critical injuries in the crash was transferred from Waikato Hospital to Starship overnight.

A 42-year-old man remains in a critical condition in intensive care, and a 32-year-old woman is in a stable condition, at Waikato Hospital.

Four females, aged 3, 2, 17 and 66, all remain in Rotorua Hospital in stable conditions. A fifth woman, aged 42, who was taken to Rotorua Hospital was not admitted.

“This is an absolutely devastating event on our roads and Police extend their sympathies to the loved ones of all of those involved,” says Senior Sergeant Nicky Cooney, Acting Bay of Plenty Road Policing Manager. “The investigation is in the very early stages but what is clear is that the vehicles have impacted head-on. It will take some time for the SCU to establish more facts. At the moment our priority is ensuring support is provided to those who need it following this tragedy.

“Any death or serious injury on our roads is one too many, the number of people an event like this affects is awful,” says Senior Sergeant Nicky Cooney. “Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone needs to think about their driving habits and keep safety at the forefront of their minds every time they hop in a vehicle.”

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash, or has information which may help the Police investigation, to contact Taupo Police on 07 378 6060.

News from NZ Police – October 10
Four people are dead following a collision today north of Taupo at the intersection of State Highway 1 and Tutukau Road. Eight people are injured.

Two of them are in a critical condition and the others are in a serious condition or have moderate injuries.

The injured have been taken to either Waikato or Rotorua hospitals and police continue to investigate. The road was closed till about 9.15pm.

Motorists were asked to use either SH5 or SH30 to avoid the accident.