Another death on State Highway 2 north of Tauranga has reignited calls for a four-lane highway to Katikati with a centre median barrier.

Kevin Adrian Hamill, of Auckland, died instantly after his white Honda crossed the centre line and smashed into another car mid-morning on Sunday, Sergeant Wayne Hunter told the Bay of Plenty Times.

Police said the circumstances of the Whakamarama crash remained under investigation by the Serious Crash Unit and the 61-year-old's death is being referred to the Coroner.

The sole occupant and driver of a red Nissan received moderate leg injuries in the crash and was taken to Tauranga Hospital for treatment.


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Sean Lett, from the Fix the Bloody Road campaign, helped direct traffic in the immediate aftermath of Sunday's crash, which happened at 11.05am about 200m from the intersection with Gill Lane.

Lett lives about 500m from the crash scene and heard sirens.

"When you hear a cop car or a siren, you automatically go and get ready to go up and start helping with traffic. It's not right at all, it's absolutely disgusting."

Lett said there are plenty of "twits" on social media who insist there is nothing wrong with the road and that it is just driver error.

"That's all well and good; it is driver error, but what about the poor person that isn't at fault, just driving along minding their own business, going to Sunday lunch and getting taken out.

"There is nothing wrong with the road if it was fit for purpose for 30,000 vehicles. But the road is dangerous because there are so many people on it."

Lett said a friend was "taken out" last week 100m from Sunday's crash site. His friend's car was written off, he broke his hand and is off work for six weeks.

Sean Lett (left) and Andrew Hollis from the Fix the Bloody Road campaign. Photo / File
Sean Lett (left) and Andrew Hollis from the Fix the Bloody Road campaign. Photo / File

Lett said there needed to be a four-lane highway out to Katikati with a centre median barrier.

"Yup, there are still going to be crashes, because people are stupid, but they're not going to cross the centre line and kill people.

"If we had something like the Eastern Link, that guy would have hit the cheese cutters and maybe bounced across and hit another car on his own side, but at least it wouldn't be a head on."

Arlene Barbeau, owner of Parklands Produce on State Highway 2, said there had been "far, far too many" crashes outside her store and down the road.

"It is so distressing for everyone. Something that stays on your mind for ages. They are going to have to do something."

Barbeau said as her husband keeps saying after each crash, "it is so very sad that on a beautiful sunny Sunday someone loses their life and that their whole family suffer all because they (the transport authorities) are not doing anything except a few sticks on the centre line every now and then. It affects everyone."

The Bay of Plenty Times approached Transport Minister Phil Twyford's office for comment.

A spokeswoman said: "That's a decision for the NZTA board so they are best placed to comment on that."

A transport agency spokeswoman said as the crash remained under investigation by police it was not appropriate to comment on possible contributing factors.

"The transport agency is saddened by the tragic loss of life from these crashes, and our thoughts are with all of those affected."

She said safety improvements were being made and would continue to be made to State Highway 2 between Waihi and Tauranga.

Earlier this year $87.1m was approved for the construction of safety improvements from Waihi to Omokoroa over the next five years, the spokeswoman said.

The 42km section of road would be split into 10 sections to help reduce delays to people's journeys due to construction.

The first section, Waihi to Trig Rd, was expected to begin construction in late 2018.

Terry Molloy, Tauranga City councillor and chairman of AA's Bay of Plenty/Coromandel board, said Sunday's crash reinforced the urgency most people felt about State Highway 2 upgrades.

He said the local AA committee had been pushing to have the upgrades completed.

"It would have to be one of the highest priorities I would imagine in the country, given that it's heading into the Port of Tauranga and the number of accidents that have happened there."