Emergency services were tonight called to a two-car crash on State Highway 1 at the intersection with Te Hapua Road 3.5km south of Te Horo Beach Road.
Three people were injured and were treated at the scene of the crash. Police say their injuries range from serious to moderate.
The crash blocked the south bound lanes and for three hours only one north bound lane was open.
At 6pm the Transport Agency advised: expect significant delays in both directions.
At 7.30, police said it would be another two hours before the road was cleared.
Till then, traffic was guided through on a stop/go basis so motorists travelling either way faced lengthy delays. Further delays were caused when the road was closed to enable a rescue helicopter to land.
At 9.30, on target, police advised that the crash was cleared and the main road was fully opened again. But there was still a large backlog of traffic.