Police have confirmed four separate vehicles were involved in a serious crash near Whakatane.
The Serious Crash Unit is now investigating, and it is expected the road will be closed for a number of hours.
Police are asking any witnesses to the crash to contact Whakatane Police on 07 308 5255.
In particular, police are interested in speaking to a paraglider who was above the accident when it occurred.
At 1.50pm, emergency services were called to the scene, having received reports of a collision between a truck and a car.
Three people have died at the scene, and initial information indicates others may be injured.
Diversions are in place.