Police investigating spill
Police are investigating whether a large oil spill on State Highway 1, north of Wellington, was the cause of several crashes that created rush hour traffic chaos.
Five people were injured after a car and truck collided on SH1 north of Paekakariki, on the Kapiti Coast, just after 6pm on Thursday. One woman suffered serious injuries.
Further south on the same highway, four cars ran into a bank at Pukerua Bay.
The crashes closed a large chunk of SH1, between Plimmerton and Paraparaumu, in both directions for about three hours
Long lines of traffic were at a standstill in both directions while the scene was cleared.
A police spokeswoman said on Friday that Kapiti-Mana Police would investigate the cause of the crashes and, specifically, whether they were related to the spill.
They would also be investigating the source of the leak.
Fire service shift manager Mike Wanoa said the oil spill flowed from the top of the Pukerua Bay hill to the Paremata roundabout.
The fire service was alerted to the incident about 6.25pm.
There were reports of cars ‘‘slipping and sliding,’’ Wanoa said.
Greater Wellington Regional Council said it had not received any notification of the spill, but would respond if and when it was notified.
Several crashes blocked SH1 in both directions on Thursday.