It was a horror day on Far North roads after a man who was ejected from a vehicle died and another suffered serious injuries when his car was hit head on by a car which was drag racing.

The busy Saturday for emergency services began with a serious crash on William St, Kaitaia about 3.30pm.

Senior Sergeant Cliff Metcalfe said two stolen cars were spotted drag racing on the road when one went around a corner and collided head-on with another vehicle.

Mr Metcalfe said the driver of the crashed stolen car got into the other stolen car and drove off without checking how the other driver was. The vehicle was then dumped at a vacant property on Grigg St and two men were seen running off.


Meanwhile, the man who was in the other car suffered serious head injuries and had to be freed from the vehicle by firefighters.

Mr Metcalfe said police were investigating and anyone with information could contact Kaitaia Police on (09) 408 6500.

Later that night a 51-year-old man from Auckland died in a crash on Kaitaia-Awaroa Road, near Brass Road, about 10.15pm.

Mr Metcalfe said it appeared the man, who was the sole occupant of the car, was travelling around a corner and crashed into a bank causing his vehicle to flip upside down in a ditch.

The death brings Northland's road toll for 2017 to 18 - the same as this time last year.

Northland's road policing boss, Inspector Wayne Ewers, said the message was simple - don't drink and drive, don't speed, and always wear a seatbelt.

"It's absolutely frustrating. If you're going to speed, you're going to be put in the position where you end up with serious injuries. Why take the chance? Why do you have to drink and drive, why do you have to speed, why don't you put a seat belt on?" he said.

Mr Ewers said of the 18 deaths, if eight had been wearing seatbelts they may have still been alive today.

"It's not just the person who dies that is affected, it's all their loved ones that are left behind. The social cost is estimated to be $4m per death," he said.

Mr Ewers said if the road toll continued to increase at the same rate it is, it would be well into the 30s in Northland by the end of the year.

Northland's road toll last year was 27, while 22 people died in road crashes in 2015.