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The notorious stretch of road from Katikati to Tauranga saw 18 deaths in five years - the highest death toll of the state highways listed as New Zealand's most dangerous.
There were also 35 serious injuries and 95 minor injuries on that section of State Highway 2 from 2012 to 2016, according to New Zealand Transport Agency crash data. The information was released by the Automobile Association (AA) as part of its election calls - 10 actions the AA believed would make transport safer and better.
The data showed the 10 stretches of two-star state highways with the highest crash rates in the country.
Thirty-nine per cent of New Zealand's state highways are two-star rated, the second-lowest safety standard as assessed by KiwiRAP, but there are no highways in New Zealand at one-star level.
Tauranga MP and Minister of Transport Simon Bridges said he was confident the number of deaths and serious injuries could be cut dramatically with the plans to improve the safety of State Highway 2.
"There's no doubt it is a treacherous stretch of road through State Highway 2 into Tauranga and that's why the Government decided last year to make one of the biggest nationwide investments we're making in this route," he told the Bay of Plenty Times.
The transport agency said several of the stretches of highway listed are, or would be, undergoing safety improvements as part of the Government's Safer Roads Programme, which included State Highway 2 from Waihi to Tauranga.