Palmerston North Mayor says death on pathway 'should never have happened'

Palmerston North's mayor says a motorbike should never have been on a pathway where a two-year-old child was killed on Friday night.

Green and white paint marks the spot on the shared walk and cycle-pathway alongside Pioneer Highway near Longburn where the tragedy struck.

A group of five - understood to be a family with three children - was hit by a motorbike just before 7pm. A two-year-old was taken to hospital in a critical condition and later died.

"Very, very sad for the family and our condolences to them, but really it should never have happened," said Palmertson North Mayor Grant Smith.

A trail bike was removed from the scene on Friday night, along with a number of push bikes.

The path links Palmerston North with the town of Longburn and is popular with walkers and cyclists.

"It's a shared pathway and shouldn't have any motorised vehicles on it at all," said Smith.

But one cyclist, who didn't want to be named, told Newshub she frequently sees motorbikes using the path.

A neighbour Newshub spoke to came out to help after the crash and said it was a scene he will never forget.

He understands the group of five was travelling south to Longburn when a motorbike travelling in the opposite direction crashed into them.

Two people remain in hospital on Saturday night, both in a stable condition. Newshub understands one of them is the motorbike rider.

Smith says this tragedy acts as a warning to others, to never use motorbikes on this pathway.