The holiday road toll stands at 17, rising overnight with the deaths of two pedestrians in Northland.

A man died when he was hit by a car in Kerikeri just after 1am this morning on Kerikeri Inlet Road near the intersection with Pa Road.

It is thought the man was walking in the middle of the road with friends on the way back from New Year's festivities.

At 2.28am a female pedestrian was killed after she was stuck by a car on Oruru Road near Taipa in the Far North.

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Yesterday two people were killed in Northland and Christchurch in crashes.

A man was found dead in a vehicle following a single car crash on SH12 at Aranga, Northland at 5.35pm.

And at 9pm a single car crash in Spotswood, Christchurch claimed the life of one person.

Last year's holiday road toll was 12 dead from 244 reported injury crashes.

The holiday period ends on January 4.

The provisional road toll for 2016 was released this morning and currently stands at 326 - up from 311 in 2015.

Provisional data for 2016 indicates 24 per cent of fatal crashes involved drivers travelling too fast for the conditions.

Drugs and alcohol contributed to 40 per cent of fatal crashes, and 39 per cent of drivers and 42 per cent of passengers killed in car crashes were not wearing seatbelts.

"The road toll is not just a number - every figure represents a life needlessly lost and family, friends and communities grieving," said Associate Transport Minister David Bennett.

"Our thoughts are with those that have lost loved ones on our roads over the past year."

Bennett said the reasons why more people are killed or injured on our roads from one year to the next were "complex".

"But whatever the reason, the road toll remains too high, and the increase over the last three years is disappointing," he said.

"The Government is committed to making New Zealand roads safer and reducing the number of people injured and killed in crashes.

"We're continually investing in physical improvements such as median barriers, rumble strips and wide shoulders, as well as in road safety enforcement, advertising, and education campaigns."

Bennett said the Ministry of Transport had also commissioned research to better understand the factors influencing the road toll.

"Road users also have a responsibility to keep themselves and others safe. It is disappointing that the summer holiday road toll is already higher than the previous year so I encourage people to drive safely, be considerate of other drivers and follow the road rules," Bennett said.

"We have the whole year ahead of us, so let's all do what we can to make sure the road toll is far lower than last year."