Waverley crash NZ's worst road accident in 13 years

The crash that killed six people in Taranaki on Wednesday morning is New Zealand's worst road accident in 13 years.

A newborn baby died and two people have life-threatening injuries after the head-on collision on SH3 in Waverley in South Taranaki just after 11am.

All occupants of the northbound car died on or shortly after impact. The male driver and newborn infant who were in the southbound car both died at the scene.

A woman who was the front seat passenger in the southbound car has been flown to Wellington Hospital in a critical condition, while an eight-year-old girl has been taken to Waikato Hospital and also has critical injuries.

It's the deadliest accident on New Zealand's roads since 2005, when nine people were killed after a mini-bus full of tourists hit a timber truck in Matamata-Piako, Waikato.

Eight of the nine bus occupants died at the scene, and a 20-year-old woman died in hospital the following morning. Her mother, father and sister were all killed in the crash.

Other victims included the Kiwi bus driver, his Thai girlfriend, an American couple and a French tourist.

The Waikato mini-bus crash was the second most deadly road accident in New Zealand history.

The country's worst accident happened in Northland in 1963 when a bus hit a pole, killing 15 people.

The second-worst crash involved a house and a bus in Hawke's Bay, in which eight people died.