Police are calling on witnesses to a fatal motorbike crash in Northland including riders who were in the group.
Rider Darren Wilson, a member of the Destiny Church-aligned Tu Tangata Riders, died and two more riders were injured after a motorcycle pile-up on State Highway 1 near Moerewa.
The crash occurred about 3pm last Friday as a group of about 15 riders was heading north, just north of Turntable Hill at the start of the Pakaraka straights.
Wilson was flown to Auckland Hospital with injuries that were initially deemed serious but not life-threatening.
However, his condition deteriorated and he died on Friday evening in hospital, bringing Northland's road toll to 22, five of which are motorcyclists. And in 2018, 52 crashes in Northland involved motorcyclists, with three motorcyclist deaths and 21 serious injuries.
Altogether 18 motorcyclists have died on Northland's roads since 2014.
The latest death has disappointed police and road safety officials as September is Motorcycle Awareness Month.
Senior Sergeant Steve Dickson said the case was still being investigated and officers were calling on any one who had seen the group of motorcyclists riding prior to the crash.
He said at the time of the crash Wilson's condition was not life-threatening and some of the riders continued on their journey before they were spoken to by police.
"It's too early to say with any certainty why the crash happened. There was a large group of motorcyclists travelling with the deceased and we want to hear from those not spoken to by police and other motorists who may have seen the group riding together before the crash," Dickson said.
Anyone who can help police should make contact through this email address: EPBU19@police.govt.nz
Dickson said September signalled the start of the motorcycling season with over half of all motorcyclists starting to get their bikes out of the garage and on to the roads after a winter break.
Police encouraged riders to refresh their riding skills with Ride Forever coaching, ensuring their gear offered the right protection, and having bikes checked before getting back on the road.
The key message for drivers with more riders back on the road, was to "Look Twice" at intersections and before changing lanes.
"We want to make all road users aware that they play a part in keeping each other safe on the road," Dickson said.