One person has been killed and a child is seriously injured after a spate of car crashes this afternoon.

Emergency services were at the scene of a fatal crash on State Highway 2, just outside Raupunga, near Wairoa.

The accident happened about 3.30pm.

"The driver, who was the only person in the vehicle, died at the scene," police said.

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The Police Serious Crash Unit is investigating.

The fatal crash happened half an hour before the official Labour Weekend holiday toll started at 4pm. It ends at 6am on Tuesday.

Down south, a 10-year-old boy has been seriously injured, and three other people moderately, in a two-car crash just outside of Geraldine.

Emergency services were at the scene of the crash on Geraldine Fairlie Highway, State Highway 79, near the intersection with Mullvihill Rd, at 6pm.

A St John spokesman said the boy, a man and woman were taken to Dunedin Hospital by helicopter.

The fourth patient, a woman, was taken to Timaru Hospital by ambulance.

The incident has closed State Highway 79 in the area of Kakahu.

Meanwhile, several other crashes in the South Island caused injuries and closed roads.

Four people were moderately injured after a car was T-boned at the intersection of Brougham Street (State Highway 76) and Gasson St in Sydenham, Christchurch.

The incident happened at 8.50pm.

A St John spokesman said all four patients were taken to Christchurch Hospital by ambulance.

Emergency personnel were also at a crash on Ferry Rd, in Spring Creek, north of Blenheim.

Police said they had been told that "nobody is badly injured".

The Fire Service was called to assist at the crash, which happened about 4.30pm.

A vehicle towing a caravan also rolled in the Queenstown Lakes district.

Emergency crews were on their way to the incident, which happened on State Highway 6 in Makarora at 4.45pm.

Police said there were no serious injuries.

Last year's Labour Weekend road toll ended with three people killed on our roads. A total of 94 people were injured in other reported crashes.

Holiday traffic was heavy in various parts of the country ahead of the break.

Authorities are urging people to allow for extra travel time as thousands of people make the long commute to holiday hotspots for the long weekend.

Just before 6pm, the NZTA said traffic in Auckland was heavy going south on the Southern Motorway from Princes St to Papakura.

Congestion was also heavy citybound on State Highway 1 at Ellerslie.

Delays were expected in the Greenlane area later this evening, as the popular Armageddon Expo kicks off at the ASB Showgrounds.

For those heading north, NZTA warned that traffic was slow heading into Puhoi and Wellsford.

In the Wellington region, motorists were being told to expect a delay of up to 15 minutes travelling northbound between Plimmerton and Paraparaumu. These eased from delays of 30 minutes earlier this afternoon.

A crash on State Highway 2 was blocking the right northbound lane prior to the Hutt onramp, just after 5pm. It has since been cleared.

Drivers are encouraged to reduce their speeds, as police are enforcing a lower speed threshold this weekend.

Anyone found to be going over the speed limit by 4km/h could cop a ticket.