A 23-year-old man from North Canterbury is in a critical condition after being thrown from his vehicle when it crashed into a pole.

The accident happened in Harwarden, near Lake Sumner Forest Park, just after midnight on Thursday.

In another crash yesterday near Nelson, three men escaped serious injury when their vehicle flew over a barrier, rolled down a bank and landed in the sea, about 1.30am.

The two Nelson men and a man from Tauranga escaped with minor to moderate injuries. Police said charges were likely.


Three men were treated at Gisborne Hospital after their vehicle rolled down a bank near Gisborne.

A witness said it appeared the vehicle rolled several times before coming to rest on its wheels.

The official holiday road toll remains at three, with two men and an elderly woman killed.

On Boxing Day, a 58-year-old Taumarunui man was killed in a single-vehicle crash near Taumarunui, shortly after 1pm. The accident happened 5km north of the town on State Highway 4.

Shane Curtis Tosh, 24, was also killed on Boxing Day in a serious crash in Southland. Mr Tosh was found dead at the scene. He was the sole occupant of a Honda saloon.

And Chinese national Rongmei Wang died at the scene of a two-car crash in Hamilton on Christmas Day. The 71-year-old woman was a rear passenger in a car that collided with a ute about 12.35pm. Four of her family members were taken to Waikato Hospital.

Three-year-old Te Haeata Pitiroi was killed at Hatepe near Taupo about 9pm on Christmas Eve when he was run over in a shared driveway. And 16-year-old Rowan Cai Parker was killed about 6.30pm on Wednesday when he lost control of a quad bike in the Chaslands area of South Otago and drove over a cliff. Their deaths did not count towards the official holiday road toll as the crashes did not happen on public roads.

The official holiday road toll began at 4pm on Christmas Eve and will finish at 6am on January 3.

Stay safe

• Slow down in communities, on rural roads, and drive to the conditions.

• Don't drive after consuming any amount of alcohol or taking drugs, and be careful about driving the morning after drinking by planning ahead.

• Always wear a seatbelt, make sure everyone else in the vehicle is wearing a seatbelt and that children are in correctly-fitted child restraints. Also make sure you have done vehicle checks such as checking lights, tyres, mirrors and windscreen wipers before setting off.

• Have your phone switched off or on silent and out of reach. Minimise other distractions.

• Take breaks every two hours on long journeys. Don't drive if you are tired, ill or stressed.