Today looks to be the pick of the weather for gardening and holidaymaking this Labour Day weekend.

But it's not much of a standout, with cloud in many places and showers in others.

It's all pretty typical spring weather, with cool winds blowing in from the Tasman Sea - until a northerly swings around on to the upper half of the North Island and dumps rain on Monday.

Wellington may be one of the few places for a decent dose of sun - but not until the public holiday on Monday, and the temperature is pegged for no more than a just-warm 16C.

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"It's very much a spring weekend," said MetService meteorologist John Law.

A front over the South Island today is expected to deliver rain in the west and south, and showers in the east and north. In Central Otago, temperatures dive from the unseasonably high middle-to-high 20s where they sat for several days, to a predicted 18C today and 17C tomorrow.

Northland and Auckland are in for a cloudy day, with a few showers. In the west of the North Island, from Wellington and through Waikato to the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty, isolated showers can be expected, turning to rain from evening.

In the North Island, the east stands out as the sunny place to be tomorrow, with a few showers elsewhere.

The South Island is in for varying amounts of the wet stuff.

On Monday the upper half of the North Island is in for a bout of northerly rain, but further south, fine weather is expected. In the South Island, rain and showers are predicted for the west, with isolated showers in eastern districts.

Grim start to holiday road toll

On the roads, the Transport Agency is picking there will be another peak of
holidaymakers heading out of town today.

One person has been killed and another badly injured in a car crash near Burnham Military Camp in Canterbury.

/ Video by Joe Morgan

The car came off the road just after midnight on State Highway 1, just south of the camp.

A police spokeswoman said one person died at the scene.She said police still have to do a formal identification of the body and inform next-of-kin.

Another person was taken to Christchurch Hospital with serious injuries. The crash brings the road toll to one for the holiday weekend.

Meanwhile, one person died and two others were seriously injured in a spate of crashes across the country yesterday afternoon, as people battled holiday traffic delays.

The fatal crash happened on State Highway 2 near Wairoa, half an hour before the official Labour Weekend holiday toll started at 4pm.
It ends at 6am on Tuesday.

Further south, two people were seriously hurt in a crash just outside of Geraldine.

The incident closed Geraldine Fairlie Highway (State Highway 79) in the area of Kakahu.In Auckland, according to the agency's website, the heaviest traffic is predicted to be in the southbound lanes of the Southern Motorway at Takanini between 9.30am and 3pm.

For the homeward journey on Monday, the heaviest traffic north-bound is expected to be from 3pm to 5.30pm at Takanini.

For those returning to Auckland from points north, the heaviest southbound traffic flows on Monday between Puhoi and Wellsford on State Highway 1 are expected from 11am to 6.30pm - most of the day.

There was heavy congestion heading north and south out of Auckland yesterday afternoon.

Traffic was also backed up in the Wellington region, where motorists faced delays of up to 30 minutes, northbound between Plimmerton and Paraparaumu.

The Transport Agency is reminding drivers to expect delays at the peak times and to
allow extra time for their journeys.

The police are pleading for motorists to drive safely and to reduce speeds.

The trigger point for getting a speeding fine over the long weekend is 4km/h above the limit - at the discretion of the police officer wielding the ticket book.