Today the Weekend Herald explores the tragic personal stories behind the road toll numbers. Alanah May Eriksen spoke to friends and family of the 12 people who died on the roads during the last holiday weekend at Easter.
GOOD FRIDAY, APRIL 2
James Victor Robinson, 18
James Robinson lived life on the edge.
"If he partied, he partied hard, if he was deerstalking he would go hard until he got the deer," said family friend Peter Le Heron.
"Second best for him wasn't good enough."
The Morrinsville 18-year-old, a cousin of former All Black Keith Robinson, was the first victim of the Easter road toll.
He died after his Ford Focus hatchback spun out of control and crashed into a paddock near Waharoa, 53km east of Hamilton.
The former Morrinsville College student had just finished work at a local farm.
Mr Le Heron was James' former Scout leader before he moved on to the older Venturer group.
"He was a fun-loving kid who loved life and lived life to the the full," he said.
The teenager enjoyed, hunting, fishing and "anything outdoors".
His mother, Anne Robinson, also this week paid tribute to her dead son on a social networking site.
"Yesterday I realised that what I have really lost is hope," she wrote.
"The hope that you would meet the love of your life, have kids, have a great job and most important be happy. While that hope has gone from this lifetime I know you are living your dreams without us for a while and that when our time comes we will see you again."
Earlier she spoke of having visited his grave and noticing someone had left pink roses, three bottles of Speights and three little bottles of Jaggermeister.
"Still miss you but I have to say you gave us lots of reason to keep on smiling. U were one in a million."
His sister, Nicole Robinson, said: "Every time I think of you, a smile covers my face. I guess that explains why I am smiling a lot these days ... and crying even more coz ill never see you smile again."
Barbara June Moseley, 59
Barbara Moseley always put others first, her family say.
The 59-year-old was this week described as "the best grandmother" to her eldest daughter Kristi Palmer's 3-year-old daughter - her only grandchild.
The Christchurch-born woman was on her way to visit family in Auckland when her car crossed the centre line and collided with an oncoming truck on Gordonton Rd in Taupiri, near Hamilton. She died instantly.
Mrs Palmer, 29, said her mother, who had two other daughters in their 20s, was a keen gardener and was also into crafts such as quilting and knitting.
She was involved in several charities including the SPCA and the Red Cross, and was a caregiver for the elderly and a Brownie leader.
Mrs Moseley married the girls' father Chris in Taihape in 1979 and the family shifted around before settling in Marton, in the Rangitikei, where they had lived for 25 years.
At her funeral, Mr Moseley referred to his wife as "my lady rose", the Rangitikei Mail reported.
He said he met her at the Auckland Post Office while she was having a scrap with a fellow employee. "She was the best thing that happened to me."
Almost 200 people turned up for the service at the Marton Memorial Hall.
Her sister, Patricia Dickson, said one of her first memories of her was of her putting dolls into a pram and reading to them.
Marton business owner Julie Turner said that when Mrs Moseley started at her shop, she was timid, but she blossomed over time, bringing laughter and coffee breaks into the shop.
"We had so much fun. We laughed so hard."
Her service sheet showed photos of her as a toddler, teenager and in her older years smiling with a glass of wine.
SATURDAY, APRIL 3
Fraser Douglas Nathan, 23
When Fraser Nathan proposed to the mother of his daughter, Jessie Robinson, she thought her life was complete.
"We were lying in bed and he said 'Baby, will you marry me?' I was shocked. I said 'Are you for real?' he said 'Yup, your ring's in the shop'."
But Ms Robinson will probably never be able to pick up the ring as two weeks later the 23-year-old was killed before he'd had a chance to pay it off. The Holden Commodore he was a passenger in collided with the back of a Toyota Hilux it tried to overtake on State Highway 34 near Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty.
Six-month-old Kalaishia Hale, who was in the Hilux with her parents, also died. Police are still deciding whether to lay any charges.
Mr Nathan had taken Ms Robinson, 19, and their daughter to Kawerau from their home in Waipukurau, in central Hawkes Bay, to stay with family over Easter.
He went for a drive with two relatives "and never came home", Ms Robinson said. One of the men is still in hospital.
Their daughter, Hayley-Rae Nathan, who turned 2 on Monday, still screams out her daddy's name as she runs down the hallway.
"I tell her 'Daddy's having a long sleep' and I think she understands because she puts her head down."
Ms Robinson said the family had recently moved to Waipukurau and Mr Nathan had a new job at a freezing works.
He was enjoying playing rugby for the nearby village of Otane.
"We were starting a new life, getting on our feet, we were happy," Ms Robinson said.
The mother is living with her dead partner's family in Kawerau, who she said had been "a rock of support".
She sent her condolences to the Hale family.
Kalaisha Matangireia Princess Hale, 6 months
Kalaisha Hale's family joke that they felt like paparazzi when they were around her.
The 6-month-old baby girl, great-grand-niece of entertainer John Rowles, died a day after her parents' 4WD was clipped from behind by a Holden on State Highway 34, near Kawerau. Fraser Nathan, a passenger in the Holden, died at the scene. Police are still deciding whether to charge the driver of the Holden.
Her parents Ricky, 27, and Katerina, 21, who is pregnant again, were travelling to visit whanau in Waiohau, south of Kawerau, where they were brought up.
On her Bebo page, Katerina describes her daughter as her "gorgeous, precious ... little baby girl" and shares her grief with friends.
"The most precious thing in my whole entire life. This year ... she was taken away from me, and we never ever seen it coming. Rest in peace my honey.
"Love you my baby girl, you will always be in mummy's and papa's heart. You will never ever be forgotten. We miss you ... you will alwayz be mummy's girl.
"Keep your loved ones very close to you and please be careful, you never know wat can happen."
Kalaisha's grandmother said after the crash that the baby was a shy, smiling child who studied people carefully.
"She was the first child, and a special one, who had amazingly glorious black hair, and the blackest, most beautiful eyes. She was exceptional to look at, and to touch.
"We used to make jokes about the family paparazzi that followed her everywhere she went."
The arrival of Kalaisha had a profound effect on her father, who had cared for her fulltime since her birth in September.
"It was astounding how protective he was," the grandmother said.
"It became a thing throughout this land, and our people, how expert a father he was. The mother was equally gracious."
Cathryn May Carr, 51
As a postal worker, Cathryn Carr knew the risks of cycling on the road.
But her partner, Miles Watson, said there was nothing the Christchurch mother-of-four and grandmother of one could have done to prevent the Toyota hitting her bike from behind as she trained for a cycle race the couple had planned to do last month.
Life support for the 51-year-old was turned off two days after the collision on Old West Coast Rd, on the western outskirts of Christchurch.
Police are still deciding whether to charge the female driver of the Toyota, who is aged in her 60s.
"She enjoyed cycling but enjoyed keeping fit more," Mr Watson told the Press in Christchurch after the accident.
"As a postie, cycling was part of her job and she was well experienced with the hazards."
She had been cycling on a straight stretch of road on a fine day, Watson said.
"There is nothing in my mind she could have done differently that would have prevented the accident.
"We are struggling to make sense of it. There was no reason for the collision to occur."
Mr Watson said Ms Carr was a caring, sporty person with a wide circle of friends and a large family.
Her first grandchild, Isabella, was born three weeks before she died.
Wiki Antony Brass, 50
Wiki Brass was the kind of person who would pretend he hadn't bought Christmas presents that year - but then a van would turn up with a new washing machine inside.
The 50-year-old Bay of Plenty forestry worker was staying with his father Heta and stepmother Rose Brass in Kaitaia, Northland, for the weekend when his car ran into a ditch and rolled off Ahipara Rd.
He had gone to visit his sister Linda but she wasn't home. Linda came across the police car's flashing lights by her brother's crashed vehicle.
Rose Brass said Wiki, who she thought of as her own son, was "so kind, so loving".
"The beauty about him was that one Christmas, he hadn't brought any presents, then a van turned up in the yard and he'd got me a washing machine.
"Another time, for a birthday, in walks a courier carrying a microwave.
"He'd give me money as well but I didn't like taking it. I used to ring him and say 'Please Wiki, stop giving me things'. He said 'Why? You need a new washing machine, you've had yours for ages."
The former Kaitaia College student, who was unmarried, had lived in Murupara and worked in the Kaingaroa Forest.
He had open-heart surgery several years ago, Mrs Brass said.
"His doctor told him not to work but he wouldn't listen."
Mr Brass was a keen pig, deer, possum and pig hunter and also enjoyed fishing.
SUNDAY, APRIL 4
Haina Gladys Stewart, 48
With his sister's death still fresh, Apirana Taylor made sure he did not exceed the 100km/h speed limit while travelling to Wellington last week.
"The result was I was tailgated most of the way, pressured to go faster and drivers consistently broke the law by overtaking me, often dangerously so, when I couldn't pull over to let them speed past.
"With that in mind I'd say New Zealanders are the worst drivers in the world and until we drive within the legal limit we will continue to murder innocent people on the roads."
The well-known Maori poet is still mourning the loss of his sister Haina Stewart.
The "supermum" of four and grandmother of six, who was buried on her 48th birthday, was killed when the Mitsubishi she was a passenger in was hit by an oncoming Toyota Camry overtaking a truck on State Highway 1, north of Waiouru.
Kuwaiti student Abdullah Aldousari, 19, a passenger in the Camry, was also killed and the 19-year-old driver of the vehicle has been charged.
Mrs Stewart's husband Dean, who was driving, suffered several broken bones but still attended his "soulmate's" tangi at Tapu Te Ranga Marae at Island Bay, lying on a mattress beside her open casket.
The couple had been on their way home to Paekakariki, on the Kapiti Coast, after spending Easter with their adult daughter, Sharie, on Waiheke Island.
Ms Stewart worked for health service Tumai Mo Te Iwi promoting cervical cancer vaccination within the Maori community.
Her talented family include her older sister, Riwia Brown, who wrote the screenplay for Once Were Warriors, and another brother, prominent actor Rangimoana Taylor.
Apirana Taylor told the Weekend Herald: "My brother and my remaining sister, my wife, my children, nephews, nieces, including Haina's children and grandchildren, and Haina's husband are devastated, shattered and broken. Because of the actions of an idiot we are condemned to spend the rest of our lives in deep mourning, waking up every morning to an inescapable nightmare."
Abdullah Aldousari, 19
Abdullah Aldousari loved New Zealand and had dreams of attending university here.
But the Kuwaiti 19-year-old's life was cut short when he was killed in an accident as he and four friends from Taylor's College, in Central Auckland, travelled on State Highway 1 near Waiouru.
He was the front-seat passenger of a Camry which overtook a truck and slammed into an oncoming Mitsubishi being driven by Dean Stewart.
Mr Stewart's wife Haina, 48, the front seat passenger, was also killed.
The 19-year-old driver of the Camry, who is still recovering from his injuries in a rehabilitation centre, has been charged with two counts of dangerous driving causing death and four charges of dangerous driving causing death.
Mr Aldousari was living in Auckland and attending Taylor's College on Karangahape Rd as part of a Kuwaiti Government-sponsored scholarship. The college provides specialised programmes in university preparation and secondary school education.
His body was returned to family in Kuwait days after the crash.
A friend, Salem Alsallal, said: "He was [a] very gentle and ambitious man ... he was trying to learn English and go to [Auckland] University.
"He loved NZ very much and he loved NZ nature. Every body loved him and everybody was sad when he died."
A death notice in the Herald from the school described his passing as a tragedy.
"The Principal, staff, students and friends of Taylors College & Embassy CES wish to express their sincere condolences to friends and family of Abdullah at this very sad time. Our thoughts are with you all."
Blair Edwin Sainsbury, 17
When Blair Sainsbury's big brother celebrated his 21st in the family's woolshed on the weekend, the speeches took two hours to get through.
"Everyone mentioned Blair," said the brothers' father Guy Sainsbury. "His 17 years touched the lives of so many people."
The teenager had competed in the Tiniroto Easter Game Hunt, of which his father was president.
He was driving home to his parents' farm in the small village of Ruakituri in the Hawkes Bay when he dozed off and his Toyota Hilux rolled 80m down a bank off Tiniroto Rd.
His vehicle was found by a search party two days later and his body found by his father who stumbled across the group.
Blair, a relative of television presenter Mark Sainsbury, worked on a local sheep and cattle farm and was an avid pig hunter, Guy Sainsbury said.
"I had to bribe him to go into town with me, he would only go if he wanted to buy something like ammo or hunting clothes. I had to say 'I'll get you McDonald's or Burger King'.
"If there was a big pile of mud he would go straight through it, he loved to be dirty. The washing machine was constantly going.
"He would change about two or three times a day."
The teenager, who had six horses and six dogs, was "such a big man for a 17-year-old but was also very gentle".
He had recently become an uncle when his older sister Evelyn, 22, gave birth to a son, Connor, and he enjoyed changing and dressing him.
Steven John Gorrie, 38
Makoto Izumi, 26
Half of Makoto Izumi's ashes have been spread in Tauranga where his partner was from and half were taken back to Japan with his father.
The 26-year-old dog groomer had moved to New Zealand for a fresh start about eight years ago after his mother died of breast cancer.
But as he headed to Wellsford on the back of his partner Steven Gorrie's new motorcycle the pair collided with a car on State Highway 1 in the Dome Valley and were killed instantly.
They had been heading to 38-year-old Mr Gorrie's best friend's house for a party.
The couple lived at the the Waldorf Bankside Apartments in central Auckland, which Mr Gorrie managed.
Mr Izumi's boss at Lady Gay's Pet Centre &Grooming Salon in Takapuna, Renee Mason, said the "really tall" dog groomer, whose favourite canine was a schnauzer, had a big following.
"It's like when someone has their favourite hairdresser and they only like going to them."
His father came over from Japan and spread some of his ashes in the Bay of Plenty and took the rest home, Ms Mason said.
"He was a shy sort of a person until you got to know him, I think his English wasn't the best so he'd wait until he got a bit more confident."
Mr Gorrie's boss, Kit Williams, based at the St Martins Waldorf Apartment Hotel, described him as "a very special person".
A former car salesman, Mr Gorrie had managed the apartments for about a year.
"Every day he'd phone me and I'd never hang up without a smile on my face. "He always had a story, he could always make something that was black into something special."
MONDAY, APRIL 5
Rochelle Elston, 17
Rochelle Elston was the kind of teenager who would write her mum notes just for the sake of it.
"I have scrapbooks of literally thousands of photos I'd taken of her and all the little letters she gave me, with the hearts she drew on them," Joanne Steed said.
The 17-year-old, from Haumoana, near Napier, was staying with her aunt and uncle in Takapau, central Hawkes Bay, over Easter.
She was milking cows on a nearby farm to save money for a trip to the Gold Coast with her father, who lives in Wanganui.
She was coming home from work when her Honda Integra flipped and hit a grassy bank, catapulting her out of a window, and rolled several times before landing on its roof in a paddock.
She died in Wellington Hospital two days later, surrounded by about 40 friends and family.
Ms Steed said her daughter was beautiful and would never be seen out of the house without mascara on. But she didn't mind getting her hands dirty on the farm either.
Ms Steed said she felt like she was "living a life sentence" but was taking solace in looking after the animal-lover's 2-year-old horse, Cracker-Jack, as well as her huntaway sheepdog Alice and cat Tama.
"I'm taking one day at a time, trying to create a life without my favorite person.
"I'm living a life sentence. I won't ever get over it," she said.
In honour of Rochelle's dream of having a white horse at her wedding one day, one led the procession at her funeral as her coffin, which was painted pink and adorned with the Playboy bunny logo, approached the church.
She was doing an early-childhood course via correspondence.
Ms Steed, who owns a local bar with her partner, said the support of the community had been tremendous.