The man who was killed when his ute crashed into a tree north of Turangi on Wednesday night has been named by police.

Mt Maunganui man Shane Anthony Robson, 51, died instantly in the crash, which happened on State Highway 1 at Hatepe about 8.30pm on Wednesday.

He was not wearing a seatbelt, police said.

"Once again a family has lost a loved one because that individual made the decision to not wear a seatbelt," said Senior Sergeant Fane Troy of the Taupo area road policing group.


"Police cannot reiterate enough the importance of wearing your seatbelt. They do save lives."

Police are still investigating the cause of the crash.